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India repeals controversial farm laws after a year of protests

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>India repeals controversial farm laws after a year of protestsThe WorldNovember 19, 2021 · 12:30 PM EST

Protesting farmers ride tractors and shout slogans as they march to the capital, breaking police barricades, during India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, Jan. 26, 2021.

Altaf Qadri/AP/File photo

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his government will withdraw controversial farm laws that have been met with massive protests over the past year. Farmers have been protesting government overhauls that they say would ruin their livelihoods. They’re now celebrating the move as a hard-fought victory. Modi timed his announcement for the Sikh holiday Guru Nanak Jayanti to acknowledge India’s minority Sikh community that’s made up the base of the protests. Farmers are also one of India’s most influential voting blocs, and Modi’s reversal comes ahead of next year’s election.

Austria
As Austria faces a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, the country is set to go into a nationwide lockdown, beginning on Monday and lasting for at least 10 days. The government is also planning to make vaccination mandatory — a first of its kind policy for Europe. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg plans to impose the vaccine mandate beginning Feb. 1 of next year. Austria had one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, at just under 66%. It also has one of the highest national infection rates of the coronavirus on the continent, registering 14,212 new cases in just 24 hours on Thursday.

Brazil
Deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is at a 15-year high, surging by 22% in the past year, according to a government report. The statistics undercut President Jair Bolsonaro's assurances that the country has been curbing illegal logging. Brazil’s space research agency (INPE) showed that the country had recorded 5,110 square miles of deforestation. Brazil recently pledged at the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow to end illegal deforestation by 2028.

From The WorldBrazil’s COVID vaccination campaign picks up thanks to a 1980s public health mascot

Olympic athletes, from left, archer Marcus Vinicius D'Almeida, Paralympic rower Michel Pessanha, swimmer Marcela Cunha and swimmer Larissa Oliveira pose for a photo with the mascot of the vaccination campaign, named "Zé Gotinha," or "Droplet Joe," after they got shots of the Pfizer vaccine at Urca military base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Silvia Izquierdo/AP

Three generations of Brazilians have grown up with Zé Gotinha, roughly translated as Droplet Joe, and many say the little guy is responsible for the country's overwhelming vaccine acceptance.

The mascot is shaped like a drop of liquid, because that's how the polio vaccine was administered in Brazil back in the 1980s. He's been a huge part of the country's world-renowned vaccination program.

Only 1 in 7 households in Ghana has a toilet. Communities are fighting to ensure sanitation for all.

A bustling street scene in Ghana, where only 1 in 7 households has a toilet. 

Credit:

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman/The World 

Thousands of Ghanaians resort to open defecation due to a lack of access to clean toilets. Some young people in Ghana are leading the movement to change the narrative around this dangerous practice.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Bright Spot

Snoopy, complete with a NASA space suit, is heading to the moon and back aboard Artemis I, an unmanned mission scheduled to circle the moon and return to Earth in February. NASA uses stuffed animals on flights becuase when they start floating, it indicates the point of zero gravity. Snoopy's role on this mission is to ensure that all systems are working for future crews.

In case you missed itListen: North America leaders’ summit convenes

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador addresses the United Nations Security Council, Nov. 9, 2021. 

Credit:

Richard Drew/AP

Leaders from the US, Canada and Mexico are holding their first in-person meeting on Thursday in the first summit of its kind in five years. Each brings conflicting interests in issues of migration, trade and the pandemic. And capitol rioter Evan Neumann is wanted by the FBI for his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Neumann recently turned up in Belarus hoping to seek asylum there. Plus, climate change and environmental degradation are two ways that China is paying a price for its fast-paced economic growth over the past 20 years. In Shanghai, a Chinese performance artist has some unusual ways of raising awareness about pollution.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Heavy smog shuts down schools in India’s capital

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Heavy smog shuts down schools in India’s capitalThe WorldNovember 17, 2021 · 9:30 AM EST

Commuters drive amidst morning haze and toxic smog as schools and some coal-based power plants close down in New Delhi, India, Nov. 17, 2021.

Manish Swarup/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

India
Schools and colleges have shut down indefinitely in the Indian capital, New Delhi, and several neighboring provinces due to high levels of air pollution that have continued to worsen. Some coal power plants and construction sites have also been closed as the levels of the fine particulate matter PM2.5 are far higher than those considered safe by the WHO. People venturing outside have reported difficulty breathing, nausea and stinging in the eyes, and doctors have seen a sharp increase in hospital admissions due to respiratory problems. Officials are mulling over whether to impose a lockdown, similar to those used to control the spread of the coronavirus. If it goes into effect, the lockdown could be the first of its kind to curb pollution. High levels of air pollution are common there, especially during the winter months, making New Delhi one of the most polluted capital cities in the world.

Canada
Thousands of homes in the Canadian province of British Columbia have been evacuated after what officials are calling the “worst weather storm in a century.” It’s also affected areas of the US Pacific Northwest. The flood waters have severely damaged roads and train routes around the city of  Vancouver and have cut access to Canada’s largest port. Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said he had no doubt that the storm was linked to climate change. Moisture that originates in tropical regions and is moved across the atmosphere by an "atmospheric river" has dumped an amount of water equivalent to the region’s monthly precipitation average in just 24 hours.

Kenya
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is in Kenya, a key US partner in East Africa. In a private meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta and top country officials, Blinken focused on regional security issues, such as Kenya’s role in easing the conflict in Ethiopia, democracy in Sudan and combating the threat of terrorism in the region.

From The WorldMigrants restricted from entering the US due to Title 42 see double standard

Psychologist Sebastián Farías speaks with asylum-seekers inside a migrant encampment on Nov. 6, 2021. 

 

Credit:

Max Rivlin-Nadler/The World

The US has reopened its land borders to vaccinated travelers, but not to many asylum-seekers, even if they are vaccinated. This reality is leaving migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, increasingly desperate for their chance to seek asylum in the US.

Cuban govt supporters resorted to tactics they haven't used in decades to suppress political dissidents, professor says

Soldiers patrol along the Malecón seawall in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 15, 2021.

Credit:

Ramon Espinosa/AP

Nationwide protests planned for Monday in Cuba were curtailed by security forces. Lillian Guerra, a professor of Cuban history and the director of the Cuba Program at the University of Florida, described the culture of repudiation in the country to The World's host Marco Werman.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Double Take

After selling for $34.9 million at auction in New York, a Frida Kahlo painting has now become the highest-selling work of Latin American art. The record was previously held by her husband Diego Rivera, and the painting itself expresses the decadeslong tumultuous relationship the couple shared.

In case you missed itListen: Poland-Belarus border tensions escalate

A Polish army vehicle drives past a checkpoint close to the border with Belarus in Kuznica, Poland, Nov. 16, 2021.

Credit:

Matthias Schrader/AP

Migrants remain stranded at the Poland-Belarus border, attempting to cross into the EU and seek asylum. What does the escalating tension mean for Europe? And the virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and China’s Premier Xi Jinping was big news in China, with state media calling it a success. We hear reactions from China. Plus, archaeologists in Israel say an amethyst ring they uncovered recently was likely used as a hangover cure in the third century. We hear about a few other hangover remedies that have gathered faith over time.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

US and Chinese presidents strike conciliatory tone during hourslong meeting

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>US and Chinese presidents strike conciliatory tone during hourslong meetingThe WorldNovember 16, 2021 · 10:00 AM EST

President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, 2021.

Susan Walsh/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

US-China
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting on Monday in an effort to repair relations between the two largest world superpowers. The two leaders struck a conciliatory tone during the meeting, calling for cooperation from both sides. But the 3 1/2-hour meeting ended without tangible results. In follow-up statements, both sides aired their respective grievances. Biden mentioned human rights abuses in China and “unfair trade and economic policies,” while Xi said that US support for Taiwan was “playing with fire.”

Ecuador
The head of Ecuador's prison system has resigned, along with the country's armed forces chief, following fresh gang violence that left another 68 inmates dead in a prison in the city of Guayaquil. The violence happened at the same prison where 119 inmates were killed in September in what authorities called the worst riots in the country’s history. The most recent incident happened during a 60-day state of emergency that President Guillermo Lasso had declared inside the prison system to allow for extra funds to be allocated to fight violence inside the jails. Lasso has announced a plan to allow for military involvement to deal with the ongoing violence.

Uganda
Twin blasts in Uganda’s capital have left at least three people dead and dozens more injured. It’s the latest in a string of attacks over the past month in the East African country. A suicide bomber detonated the first bomb near the central police station, followed by two attackers on motorbikes blowing themselves up near parliament. Who is behind the attacks is still under investigation, and authorities have urged the public to close businesses and leave the blast areas.

From The WorldCOP26 made incremental progress but failed to deliver on ‘transformational’ change, negotiators say

Climate activists hold a demonstration through the venue of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 12, 2021. Negotiators from almost 200 nations were making a fresh push to reach agreements on a series of key issues that would allow them to call this year's UN climate talks a success.

Credit:

Alastair Grant/AP

The UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, wrapped up this past weekend, issuing a set of agreements that use the strongest language yet to convey the gravity of the climate crisis.

Leaders also pledged more funding for adaptation and finalized long-awaited rules for carbon markets within the UN system.

But nearly every climate envoy or minister at the meeting left Glasgow saying more needs to be done — and fast.

'If you can avoid a crash, you can avoid an ambush,' tactical driving expert says

Ronnie Bucknum of the US, driving Honda #12, leads Joakim Bonnier of Sweden, in a Bragham-Climax #15, and Bob Bondurant of the US, during the running of the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York, Oct. 3, 1965.

Credit:

AP/File photo

Legendary race car driver and driving instructor Bob Bondurant died on Sunday at the age of 88.

Bondurant decided many years ago to become a driving instructor after crashing his car and flipping it eight times and breaking some bones in the process. He taught Hollywood celebrities like James Coburn, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, and Christian Bale.

What's less known is that Bondurant also taught tactical driving to security teams for heads of state from around the world. 

Anthony Ricci, who runs Advanced Driving and Security, Inc., took The World's host Marco Werman into the world of tactical driving and how it's used to protect important people.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Global Hit

"The Hands of Time" is Weedie Braimah's new album — and his debut recording as a bandleader. This is also the album where the Ghanaian American artist puts the djembe drum at the forefront of his band.

The goblet-shaped hand drum, which originated in present-day Mali more than four centuries ago, has become an international symbol of African music.

As a djembefola — one who speaks through the drum — Braimah works to expand the boundaries of his instrument without sacrificing its identity and heritage. Enjoy some music from Braimah and other artists who we've featured on the show on this Spotify playlist. 🎶

Weedie Braimah's "The Hands of Time" features the power and range of the djembe. 

Credit:

Courtesy of Weedie Braimah

In case you missed itListen: COP26: Gaps between ambition and action

A thermometer records just below 100 degrees in a north Seattle neighborhood, July 29, 2009, approaching record highs. While world leaders hail the 2021 Glasgow climate pact as a good compromise that keeps a key temperature limit alive, scientists are much more skeptical. 

Credit:

Elaine Thompson/AP/file

The UN climate summit wrapped up this past weekend, issuing a set of agreements that use the strongest language yet to convey the gravity of the climate crisis. But nearly every climate envoy or minister at the meeting left Glasgow saying more still needs to be done — and fast. And Britain's terror threat level has been raised from "substantial" to "severe" following an explosion outside a hospital in Liverpool on Sunday morning. One man died at the scene and four men have since been arrested. Plus, master djembe player Weedie Braimah has a new album, “The Hands of Time,” where he shows off the djembe's range and power.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

EU places new sanctions on entities facilitating migration to Belarus

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>EU places new sanctions on entities facilitating migration to BelarusThe WorldNovember 15, 2021 · 1:00 PM EST

Migrants make their way to the checkpoint "Kuznitsa" at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, on Nov. 15, 2021.

Oksana Manchuk/BelTA pool photo via AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Belarus
The EU has agreed to slap new sanctions on airlines, travel agents and others accused of facilitating the transport of migrants from Middle Eastern countries to Belarus, as the border crisis in Poland and Lithuania deepens. Nearly 4,000 migrants are living in makeshift camps on the Poland-Belarus border with Poland stepping up border security and accusing Belarusian authorities of leading groups of migrants to cross the border. With this wider scope of sanctions, the bloc will now target individuals and entities organizing or contributing to what the EU says is an organized plan by President Lukashenko to lure immigrants and destabilize Europe. In 2015, a refugee crisis that saw 1 million people entering European countries created deep divisions within the bloc over the management of migrants.

Myanmar
American journalist Danny Fenster has been released from a Myanmar prison and is on his way back to the US, via Qatar, after spending nearly six months in jail. Fenster, the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, was handed an 11-year sentence by a military court last week on charges of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organizations and violating visa regulations. His release has been reportedly brokered by US ambassador and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who is in Myanmar. Six other journalists have also been convicted in Myanmar since February this year, when the country’s military ousted the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Austria
In a new measure to control the COVID-19 surge, Austria has imposed a lockdown for those who have not been fully vaccinated against the virus, which consists of nearly 2 million people. With this new regulation that took effect at midnight on Sunday, initially for 10 days, those over 12 years of age who cannot prove they are fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 will only be allowed to leave home for essential activities, such as going to the doctor, grocery shopping or going to get vaccinated. Increased police patrols will enforce the rules and hand over fines of $1,600 for noncompliance. Unvaccinated people had already been banned from visiting restaurants, hair salons and cinemas, but will now be expected to stay at home. In Austria, 65% of the population of 8.9 million people have been vaccinated, but the country, like several other European nations, is seeing an uptick in cases.

From The World'Born in Blackness': A new book centers Africa in the expansive history of slavery

São Sebastião Fort and Museum with statues of conquistadors São Tomé. 

Credit:

Courtesy of Howard French

Major aspects of the trans-Atlantic slave trade from an African perspective have gotten erased throughout time. Howard French set out to illuminate a more expansive understanding in a new book called "Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War."

Elections in Libya should be part of a larger process toward peace, analyst says

From left head of the Presidential Council of Libya Mohamed al-Manfi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah attend a press conference following a conference on Libya in Paris, Nov. 12, 2021.

Credit:

Yoan Valat/Pool Photo via AP

A summit in Paris on Libya's future is focused on ensuring that the country stays on track for planned elections in December. Emadeddin Badi, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, tells The World's host Marco Werman that pushing for these elections at any cost is problematic.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, travelled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly-evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Bright Spot

Sesame Street has a new star! 🌟

Ji-Young will make history as the first Asian American muppet on the popular children's show. She is Korean American and has two passions: rocking out on her electric guitar and skateboarding. 🎸 She will formally be introduced on a Thanksgiving Day special.

Ernie, a muppet from "Sesame Street," appears with new character Ji-Young, the first Asian American muppet, on the set of the long-running children's program in New York on Nov. 1, 2021.

Credit:

Noreen Nasir/AP/File photo

In case you missed itListen: COP26: What’s next?

Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive-Secretary, second right, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, second left, and Alok Sharma President of the COP26 summit, third left, attend a meeting at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Alberto Pezzali/AP

COP26 President Alok Sharma has said that the summit will be a success only if it keeps the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive. But it’s extremely unlikely that countries will commit to those kinds of carbon cuts at the summit. Also, Nov. 13 marks the sixth anniversary of the coordinated terrorist attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and six other sites in Paris. This year, it comes amid a major trial against the 10-man group that carried out the attacks. Plus, ever wonder what happens if a large asteroid goes on a trajectory to hit planet Earth? NASA is now testing a solution called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — or DART — and they say it’s the world’s first planetary defense mission.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Turkey halts flights for some Arab citizens traveling to Belarus

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Turkey halts flights for some Arab citizens traveling to BelarusThe WorldNovember 12, 2021 · 10:00 AM EST

A Belavia plane lands at the International Airport outside Vilnius, Lithuania, May 23, 2021.

Mindaugas Kulbis/AP/File photo

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Turkey
Turkey is halting the sale of airline tickets to Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni citizens traveling to Belarus, in a bid to stop migrants and refugees from trying to enter the European Union. In a statement, Belarusian state-owned airline Belavia said it would stop allowing the travelers from boarding flights at the request of the Turkish authorities. EU leaders have been pressuring airlines to stop allowing travelers from the Middle East from entering Belarus. Thousands of people have managed to cross illegally into Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia since the summer, while others have been pushed back at border crossings.

Libya
France is hosting a peace conference of nearly 30 countries and organizations to discuss the situation in Libya in an attempt to ensure that planned elections are held in December and avoid further violence. The meeting is being co-hosted by Germany, France, Italy and the United Nations. Libya has been mired in a civil war since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Ahead of the Paris meeting, forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Haftar said that about 300 of his mercenaries will be leaving the country at France’s request.

Myanmar
Myanmar has sentenced American journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison. Fenster has been detained since May and was convicted on three charges: breaching immigration law, unlawful association and encouraging dissent against the military. The ruling was made during a closed hearing in the city of Yangon, and his lawyer said it was the toughest possible sentence. Fenster was the managing editor of the online site Frontier Myanmar, which stated that he had previously worked for Myanmar Now, an independent news site that was critical of the military since its coup in February.

From The World‘I had to burn a lot of my stuff’: Two Afghan women on what they left behind when they fled the Taliban

Hundreds of people gather near a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021.

Credit:

Shekib Rahmani/AP

Thousands of Afghans rushed to leave Afghanistan when the Taliban retook control of the country. Many had to make split-second decisions about what to pack in a small bag or backpack.

'Everything I am would not be the same without being a veteran,' says soldier who served in Afghanistan

Color guard retires the colors during a Veterans Day commemoration ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, Nov. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Yesterday was the first Veterans Day in 20 years with no US troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

The US lost 2,325 service members during that war. Afghan soldiers killed in action number about 100,000. That's the human cost. The monetary cost of the US: about $2 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, a conflict that ended with the Taliban regaining control of the country this past August.

Matt Farwell, a veteran of Afghanistan who's written extensively on the war, including his book, "American Cipher: Bowe Bergdahl and the US Tragedy in Afghanistan," reflected on his career and the US pullout from the country with The World's host Marco Werman.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Global Hit

Say hello to the weekend and to good music! 

Here is a playlist curated by our team with The World's Global Hits from artists featured on the show: Nearly five hours of music. 🎶

The World's Global Hits

In case you missed itListen: EU countries consider border walls to deter migrants

Polish police officers check cars near the border to Belarus, that was closed because of a large group of migrants camping in the area on the Belarus side who had tried to push their way into Poland and into the European Union, in Kuznica, Poland, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. 

Credit:

Matthias Schrader/AP

The crisis along Poland's border with Belarus has escalated over the last few days with thousands of migrants stranded there in near-freezing conditions. Barbed wire separates the two countries. Polish authorities are now planning to build an 18-foot wall along its border, and 12 other EU countries are also considering border walls. And, we take a look at a day in the life of a climate negotiator from the island nation of Palau, as he fights for his country’s future at the UN climate summit in Glasgow. Also, the US marks its first Veterans Day following the war in Afghanistan. We hear reflections from one US veteran who fought in the war there.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Chinese Communist Party cements Xi Jinping’s rule

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Chinese Communist Party cements Xi Jinping’s ruleThe WorldNovember 11, 2021 · 11:00 AM EST

Portraits of China's former top leaders from left Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and including the current President Xi Jinping are seen at a military camp in Beijing, China, after Chinese leaders approve a resolution on the history of the ruling Communist Party, Nov. 11, 2021.

Ng Han Guan/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

China
After a four-day, closed-door session of Chinese Communist Party senior officials, the country’s top leadership passed a resolution enshrining President Xi Jinping’s status in the country’s political history, while securing his political future. In only the third of such resolutions since the party’s founding, Central Committee members declared Xi’s ideology the “essence of Chinese culture,” establishing Xi as an equal to party founder Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping. In 2018, the party removed Xi’s term limits. Then, officials told reporters Xi might need more time to assure economic and other reforms. Leadership changes will be announced at the Communist Party congress, likely to be held in 2022 when Xi is on track to secure a third five-year term, with no apparent rival.

South Africa
F.W. de Klerk, South Africa's last president of the apartheid era, has died after battling cancer at the age of 85. In 1990, de Klerk announced the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, which led to historic elections. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela for helping to negotiate an end to apartheid. Opinions on de Klerk’s legacy are divided in South Africa. Many also blame him for violence against Black South Africans and anti-apartheid activists during his presidency.

Germany
COVID-19 cases have soared in Germany as the country battles its fourth wave of the virus, registering just over 50,000 cases a day, the highest since the pandemic began almost two years ago. Germany was once seen as an example of how to deal with the coronavirus, but current data has officials worried as the cold weather sets in. Reportedly, Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for an urgent meeting to discuss the country’s response to the crisis. Christian Drosten, a leading German virologist, has joined the call for action, warning that the country could see as many as 100,000 more deaths if nothing is done.

From The WorldDearborn's first Arab American mayor-elect: 'You need not change who you are' to run for public office

Abdullah Hammoud, mayor-elect of Dearborn, Michigan

Credit:

Abdullah H. Hammoud Facebook page

Dearborn, Michigan, has been a center for Arabic language, food and culture for decades. And last week, the city elected its first Arab American Muslim mayor, State Representative Abdullah Hammoud. "You're seeing minority populations and residents begin to really get involved in the political process," Hammoud told The World's host Marco Werman.

At COP26, island nations push hard for countries to meet goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius

Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed signs a document underwater calling on all countries to cut down their carbon dioxide emissions in Girifushi, about 20 minutes by speedboat from the capital Male, Maldives, Oct. 17, 2009.

Credit:

Mohammed Seeneen/AP

The speaker of parliament of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has been an outspoken advocate for action on climate change since he was the country's president. He spoke with The World's environment editor Carolyn Beeler in Glasgow, Scotland, about the dire consequenses of not meeting climate goals.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Double Take

Vietnam's Minister of Public Security has faced criticism back home for dining on a nearly $2,000 gold-plated steak. He was hand-fed a bite of the delicacy by the famous chef known as Salt Bae himself at a high-end London restaurant. What's more, To Lam's fancy dinner came just a day after he laid flowers at Karl Marx’s grave.

In case you missed itListen: Who pays for damages due to climate change?

Kenyan Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, left, and Mark Carney, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Finance Adviser for COP26 and the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance sit on stage at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 3, 2021. 

Credit:

Alberto Pezzali/AP

For years, developing countries have been lobbying for money through the United Nations system to pay for damages and losses from climate change. Where does the finance issue stand now? And, Dearborn, Michigan is home to many immigrant populations, but especially Arab Americans. Last week, the city elected its first Arab American Muslim mayor, Abdullah Hammoud. Plus, forced migration can be the most painful experience of one's life. Thousands of Afghans have experienced this since last August, when the Taliban took over. They all made last-minute decisions about what to leave behind or take with them. We hear from two women and their final decision.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

EU officials accuse Belarus of creating a new migrant crisis

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>EU officials accuse Belarus of creating a new migrant crisisThe WorldNovember 10, 2021 · 12:30 PM EST

A view of a tent camp set by migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere gathering at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, Nov. 10, 2021.

State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus via AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Poland-Belarus
Western officials are accusing Belarus of intentionally trying to create a new migrant crisis in Europe. Poland has now amassed thousands of troops on its border with Belarus to keep out migrants who recently tried to push across the border, repeatedly attempting to tear down the razor-wire fence erected on Poland's eastern border. At least 2,000 people are now camped out there in freezing temperatures, caught in the middle of an international row. EU officials say Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is letting asylum-seekers from the Middle East into his country, and then funneling them toward the EU, an allegation Lukashenko has denied.

Ethiopia
Ethiopian authorities have detained more than 70 drivers working with the United Nations in aid delivery, according to a UN spokesperson. It follows the detention of 16 UN staffers and their families on Tuesday, all of whom were ethnic Tigrayans. Government spokesman Legesse Tulu said they were detained because of “participation in terror" unrelated to their work, but didn’t provide further details. Ethiopian officials say they’re detaining people suspected of supporting the Tigray People Liberation Front.

COP26
A draft of the Glasgow agreement was published on Wednesday at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The document includes language that says the world should be aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and acknowledging the role of fossil fuels in the climate crisis. Consensus on the draft is required, and nearly 200 countries will now negotiate its details over the next few days. It urges countries to strengthen their climate plans by the end of next year, while calling for the phasing out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies. Back in 2015, a group of the most climate-vulnerable island nations succeeded in getting the target of limiting 1.5 degrees Celsius written into the Paris agreement. They're back in Glasgow for COP26 to make sure the world stays on target. The World's Carolyn Beeler is in Glasgow and spoke to Mohamed Nasheed, former president and current speaker of parliament for the Indian Ocean nation of the Maldives about what's at stake.

From The WorldOngoing drought devastates parts of Kenya

Ruchi Wario, 60, shepherds livestock at one of the few functioning boreholes in Marsabit County, Kenya, Nov. 3, 2021.

 

Credit:

Halima Gikandi/The World

A monthslong drought in parts of Kenya is endangering the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on livestock. Humanitarian organizations are warning that countless people could be at risk of hunger if the rains don't come soon.

Canada promised to resettle 40,000 Afghans. Many are still waiting for answers.

People walk while vehicles move through the historical Khyber Pass in Jamrud, the main town of Pakistan's Khyber district bordering Afghanistan, Oct. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Muhammad Sajjad/AP

Earlier this year, the Canadian government pledged to resettle 40,000 Afghans, but advocates, and those with loved ones in Afghanistan, say the process must become faster and more transparent.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Bright spot

Surprise! Yes, that is what happened to the Sotelo family in Lima, Peru, after buying what they thought was a purebred husky for about $13. Neighbors started complaining about "Run Run" chasing and eating guinea pigs, chickens and other domestic animals in the neighborhood. It turns out the beloved pet had a mistaken identity. Run Run was a trafficked Andean fox. 🦊

In case you missed itListen: Migrant crisis continues on Belarus-Poland border

A Polish police car and a military truck are parked at a makeshift check point at the perimeter of the emergency state that covers a 1.9 mile-wide strip along the border with Belarus, Chreptowce near Kuznica, Poland, Nov. 9, 2021.

Credit:

Czarek Sokolowski/AP

On the border between Belarus and Poland, there's been an ongoing standoff between thousands of migrants — mostly from Africa and the Middle East — and Polish border guards. EU countries like Poland have been steadfast in their attempts to deny entry. And, this week, many foreign travelers were finally allowed to enter the US, after a year and a half of intense travel restrictions. But New Zealand remains one of the most closed-off places in the world — even for citizens to reenter — proving most challenging for separated families. Also, the Biden administration has approved the sale of 280 air-to-air missiles for the Saudi air force. Bomb sales to Saudi Arabia are still on hold, but the US is reluctant to block all weapons sales as leverage to encourage Riyadh to improve its human rights record or end its war with the Houthis in Yemen.

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Polish border police push back migrants at Belarus border

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Polish border police push back migrants at Belarus borderThe WorldNovember 9, 2021 · 11:15 AM EST

Migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere rest on the ground as they gather at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, Nov. 8, 2021.

Leonid Shcheglov/BelTA via AP

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Poland
Polish riot police faced off against hundreds of migrants who were trying to storm through from the Belarus side of the border. They cut through razor wire defenses and used branches to try and climb over them. The Polish Defense Ministry posted a video showing an armed Polish officer using a chemical spray through a fence at men who were trying to cut the razor wire, with some migrants throwing objects at police.The migrants, including families with young children, are camped out at the border in freezing temperatures and huddled around campfires as Polish border guards block their entry into the European Union.

COP26
A major point of contention in climate talks at the COP26 conference in Glasgow is the divide between rich and poor countries. On one side are nations that developed and became rich from the Industrial Revolution fueled by coal, oil and gas that started in the UK. On the other side are developing nations being told those fuels are too dangerous for the planet. Meanwhile, poorer countries are the ones feeling the most impact from climate change, with wealthy nations unwilling to foot the bill as compensation. These dynamics play out on week two of COP26 as national delegations discuss how to meet ambitious goals for greenhouse gas reductions. The World's environment editor and correspondent Carolyn Beeler 🎧 ​​reports from Glasgow.

Malawi
Overstone Kondowe has made history after being elected as Malawi’s first member of parliament with albinism, the hereditary lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. It’s a significant milestone in a place where the condition still garners intense stigma, discrimination and even physical attacks. It’s also surrounded by superstition, and people with albinism often become the victims of a murderous trade in body parts, which are then used in witchcraft, forcing many children with albinism to refrain from attending school. Kondowe says he plans to work for legislation to protect all people with disabilities.

From The WorldBosnia faces the most serious crisis since the Balkans War, analyst says

Bosnian Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia Milorad Dodik holds a speech during the 4th Budapest Demographic Summit in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 23, 2021.

Credit:

Laszlo Balogh/AP/File photo

Bosnia and Herzegovina has lived in relative peace for the past couple of decades, after ethnic conflict tore through the Balkans in the 1990s. 

Today, fresh tensions are bringing up painful reminders of Bosnia's not-so-distant past. High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt warned that the country could face the biggest “existential threat of the post-war period” if the international community doesn't curb separatist threats by Bosnian Serbs.

Jasmin Mujanović, a Bosnian political analyst and the author of "Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans," joined The World's host Marco Werman to break down the situation.

Haitians deported from the US face a stark reality back home. Some are making plans to migrate again.

In Pestel, Haiti, on the country's southern peninsula, Jean-Robert Leger, left, brings in a boat that is a bit smaller than the one he has attempted in to sail to the United States, along with many other migrants aboard. He has yet to succeed in touch US soil. 

Credit:

Monica Campbell/The World

It’s been less than two months since thousands of Haitians were encamped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, just at the Mexico border. Some migrants were eventually let into the US. But most were deported to Haiti — often having lived away from the country for years.

In Haiti, many people are having to start all over again, without anything back at home, while others are still trying to figure out how to reach the US. The World's Monica Campbell reports from Haiti.

It takes a village to run The World

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a story on The World?

It starts with our reporters and producers, who pitch their ideas for stories or interviews during the morning meeting. Editors ask questions like, “why this story?” And “why now?” Once a pitch is greenlit, reporters chase down the story and producers look for a compelling interview guest. Then, together with editors and engineers, they bring it to life on air.

But our work isn’t possible without the generosity of listeners like you. Make your gift before Nov. 30 to support our nonprofit newsroom and help us unlock a $67,000 match!

Double Take

A 45-year-old computer has gone on auction today and could fetch up to $600,000. But it is not just any old computer, it is one of the few remaining Apple-1 computers that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs designed. A possible treasure for collectors. So, forget about your latest generation iPhone. Any bidders?

In case you missed itListen: EU climate chief calls for reaching headline Paris agreement goal

A panel depicting Planet Earth and a message reading 'While you were Talking,’ regarding the COP26 Summit is displayed on St John's Church, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Nov. 7, 2021.

Credit:

Alberto Pezzali/AP

The European Union’s climate chief said during the ongoing COP 26 conference in Glasgow that talks must focus on meeting the headline goal of the Paris agreement. Former US President Barack Obama spoke on the sidelines of the conference on Monday, saying President Joe Biden's climate package will be “historic,” while welcoming the efforts of bipartisan US support in working toward slowing down global warming. Also, pressure is building for more Haitians to migrate by sea, as The World’s Monica Campbell shares first-hand accounts of the latest. And, an app at a Swiss university tries to use augmented reality to help people overcome arachnophobia.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Pfizer announces ‘highly effective’ pill to combat COVID

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Pfizer announces ‘highly effective’ pill to combat COVIDThe WorldNovember 5, 2021 · 1:30 PM EDT

The exterior of Pfizer in Groton, Conn. Pfizer Inc., March 2, 2012.

Elise Amendola/AP/File photo

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COVID-19
Pfizer has announced that its antiviral pill Paxlovid is highly effective at preventing severe illness among at-risk people who take the drug soon after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. It’s the second of its kind, and could be even more effective than a similar pill offered by Merck, which is still awaiting authorization in the United States. Pfizer says Paxlovid cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% when taken within three days of the start of symptoms, and that the treatment could become available in the next few months.

Saudi Arabia
The US State Department approved its first major arms sale to Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. The Pentagon plans to send 280 air-to-air missiles valued at up to $650 million. Congress has been critical of the war in Yemen, and has refused to approve many military sales for the kingdom without assurances that the equipment wouldn’t be used to kill civilians. Biden had promised to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah" state during his campaign, and has been criticized for not holding Riyadh accountable for the death of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi and other human rights abuses.

Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Tigray forces say they’re joining with other armed and opposition groups in an alliance against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to seek a political transition in the country, following a year of devastating war. The alliance of nine groups, including Tigray forces and the Oromo Liberation Army, was signed in Washington on Friday, and comes as US special envoy Jeffrey Feltman is meeting with senior government officials in the capital Addis Ababa. Meanwhile, allied forces fighting against the central government have said they're "weeks to months'' away from entering the capital, claiming they’re now in control of a town just 99 miles away.

From The WorldThis teen climate activist is blazing a new path to raise environmental awareness in China

Chinese environmental activist Howey Ou in St-Laurent, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Credit:

Jedleb/Wikimedia

Teen climate activist Howey Ou is considered China’s Greta Thunberg, taking to the streets to speak out about climate change. But in a country where speaking up comes with big risks, Ou’s path is often a lonely one.

Professional tree planting: 'It's a combination between industrial labor and high-intensity sport'

An image of a professional tree planter hard at work in British Colombia.

Credit:

Courtesy of Rita Leistner/"Forest for the Trees"

Filmmaker and photographer Rita Leistner, who started planting trees professionally more than 20 years ago, says the work is "brutal." Her latest project brings her back to tree planting in the form of a book and documentary called "Forest for the Trees." She explained the rigors of tree planting to The World's host Marco Werman. 

"An average tree planter burns about 8,000 calories a day. So, that's about the equivalent of running 2 1/2 marathons in terms of caloric output. And you're doing this day in and day out. And that is because you're carrying this heavy weight, you're climbing up and down," Leistner said.

It takes a village to run The World

We are powered by a group of talented and curious reporters, producers and editors who are dedicated to bringing you human-centered stories every day. We’re also buoyed by the community and financial support we receive from you, our listeners.

Make a gift before Nov. 30 to be a part of our fall drive and help us unlock a matching gift of $67,000.

When you donate today, you support reporting from our nonprofit newsroom.

Bright Spot

We say "hanging in there" quite often, especially when we've been asked, "how are you doing?" during the pandmic. Have you wondered how people around the world express the state of being OK, but not great? Host Marco Werman called up some of our foreign correspondents to find out. 🎧

The World Instagram post

Credit:

The World

 

 

 

        In case you missed itListen: US diplomat and hostage negotiator heads to Myanmar

In this photo issued by the Myanmar Military True News Information Team, former US ambassador and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (left) meets with State Administration Council Chairman, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Nov. 2, 2021.

Credit:

Myanmar Military True News Information Team/AP

Veteran US diplomat and hostage negotiator Bill Richardson traveled to Myanmar this week, raising hopes for the release of American journalist Danny Fenster, who's been detained by the military junta for five months. And thousands of Afghans are still trying to flee Afghanistan or are somewhere en route to a new home. The US and Canada have historically been the world's two leading countries for refugee resettlement, but they've struggled to meet the needs of this group. Also, in Russia, the number of daily COVID-19 cases and deaths have increased across the country, with new record highs in both categories. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a nationwide nonworking period to curb the spread of the virus.

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Investigation into Ethiopian conflict reports human rights violations by all sides

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Investigation into Ethiopian conflict reports human rights violations by all sidesThe WorldNovember 3, 2021 · 10:15 AM EDT

UN Human Rights Officer Charles Kwemoi, OHCHR regional representative Marcel Akpovo, EHRC Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele and Director at the EHRC Albab Tesfaye, give a joint press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nov. 3, 2021.

AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Ethiopia
An investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Human Rights Office released a day ahead of the first anniversary of the Ethiopian conflict has revealed that all sides have violated human rights, and that some of the violence could amount to crimes against humanity. The inquiry, which has been hampered by restrictions imposed by authorities and the impossibility of being able to visit some of the areas most affected by the conflict, has documented cases of rape, attacks against refugees and internally displaced people, torture and other violations linked to Ethiopian and Eritrean forces.

Nicaragua
Nicaragua is gearing up for a presidential election on Sunday, but there is not much suspense about who's likely to win. The incumbent, Daniel Ortega, is all but guaranteed to remain as president for a fourth consecutive term. Nicaragua's national police forces 🎧 have jailed many of Ortega's opponents in the past months, including  seven of the most likely presidential hopefuls. The most vocal dissidents in Nicaragua are either behind bars or outside of the country. The opposition to Ortega’s government is calling for a boycott of the election.

Eswatini
King Mswati III of the African Kingdom of Eswatini and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have come to an agreement to establish a national dialogue that could bring the unrest in the country to an end. Two weeks ago, after a flare-up in pro-democracy protests in Eswatini, the last absolute monarchy in Africa, security forces clashed with demonstrators and internet connectivity was shut down.

From The WorldMeet the trusted guide to Port-au-Prince’s streets

Mackenson Rémy, a popular reporter, is a fixture in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. All sorts of people call him, from business executives to politicians, interested in hearing about the traffic situation as the city wakes up. 

Credit:

Monica Campbell/The World 

Many Haitians rely on Mackenson Rémy, a popular reporter, to get around the country’s capital safely. He drives a 2004 beige Pathfinder or sometimes a motorcycle — to be the eyes and ears for the many Haitians who rely on his broadcast on the popular Radio Caraibes network to get around the city’s streets safely.

New restrictive regulations in Egypt will shut down access to independent information, legal director says

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi holds a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan, March. 6, 2021.

Credit:

Presidency of Sudan via AP/File photo

Egypt's new amendments to its national terrorism law will reinstate military powers that curtail human rights and free speech. Mai El-Sadany, the legal director at the Tahrir Institute of Middle East Policy in Washington, discusses the development with The World's host Marco Werman.

It takes a village to run The World

We are powered by a group of talented and curious reporters, producers and editors who are dedicated to bringing you human-centered stories every day. We’re also buoyed by the community and financial support we receive from you, our listeners.

Make a gift before Nov. 30 to be a part of our fall drive and help us unlock a matching gift of $67,000.

When you donate today, you support reporting from our nonprofit newsroom.

Bright Spot

Say cheese!

A traffic cam in Brazil had an unexpected visitor when a curious parrot appeared on screen. Captured in Curitiba in the state of Paraná, the video shows the bird repeatedly peering into the lens of the CCTV camera as it monitored traffic conditions.

In case you missed itListen: France and UK's fish dispute

French fisherman Herman Outrequin, left, who does not have a license to fish in the UK waters, works the port of Granville, Normandy, Nov. 2, 2021. The French and British governments accuse each other of contravening the trade deal in the dispute over fishing licenses in the English Channel. 

Credit:

Jeremias Gonzalez/AP

France and the UK have been caught up in a bitter dispute — about fish. Each government accuses the other of contravening the trade deal on fishing licenses in the English Channel. The French are threatening to block British fishing boats disembarking into the country unless the UK does something to resolve the matter. And, Saudi Arabia says it will plant millions of trees and capture carbon to combat climate change. As one of the world’s top oil producers, the country has also pledged to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2060.  Plus, Russian, Chinese and European tourism agencies are planning on bringing tourists back to Syria next year. But how ethical is it to visit a country still officially in a state of civil war?

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Top US oil executives to testify before Congress

Top US oil executives to testify before Congress

By
The World staff

The logo for ExxonMobil appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 23, 2018.

Credit:

Richard Drew/AP/File photo

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United States
Top oil executives are testifying before Congress on Thursday in a landmark hearing before the US House Oversight Committee. Democratic legislators say they’re investigating a decadeslong, industrywide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming. Officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron, BP America and Shell will speak before the committee, along with leaders of the industry’s top lobbying group and the US Chamber of Commerce. They’re also expected to renew their commitment to fighting climate change. Rep. Ro Khanna, who is behind the hearing, is a leading critic of the industry. The companies have dodged previous requests to testify on these issues.

Sudan
The African Union has suspended Sudan over this week’s military coup. The group said in a communique that the decision would remain in place until “the effective restoration” of the transitional authority that was leading the country toward democratic elections, which the military overthrew. The World Bank also halted its disbursements to Sudan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Sudan’s top military official, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, fired at least six ambassadors including the envoys to the United States, the European Union, Qatar, China and France, after some of them condemned the coup. Burhan also fired Adlan Ibrahim, head of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, after the resumption of flights in and out of Khartoum’s international airport on Wednesday.

Myanmar
A new report has revealed that Myanmar’s junta tortures detainees in a systematic way. The Associated Press conducted interviews with 28 people imprisoned and released in recent months, and concluded that since its takeover of the government in February, Myanmar’s military has been torturing detainees in a methodical and systemic way across the country. The investigation based its findings on photographic evidence, sketches, and letters along with testimony from two military captains and an aide to a high-ranking commander; it’s the most comprehensive look since the takeover. The country’s secretive detention system has held more than 9,000 people. Some of them had been detained for protesting against the military, while others were not given clear reasons for their arrests. Since February, security forces have killed more than 1,200 people, including an estimated 131 or more who were tortured to death.

From The WorldHaiti’s rival gangs hold a firm grip on fuel supply, testing life at every level

A man balances his motorbike tank on his head as he waits outside a gas station in hopes of filling his tank, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 23, 2021. The ongoing fuel shortage has worsened, with demonstrators blocking roads and burning tires in Haiti’s capital to decry the severe shortage and a spike in insecurity.

Credit:

Matias Delacroix/AP

Haiti is running out of gas — which is being called “liquid gold.”
And the capital has been brought to the brink of exhaustion due to fuel shortages.

Gangs, a powerful force in Haiti, are blockading fuel supplies at the ports, which are located in areas they control, driving residents of Port-au-Prince to a desperate search for gasoline and diesel. The World’s Monica Campbell reports from the capital.

A new law in France aims to protect indie bookshops against outsized Amazon competition

Sylvia Whitman, the proprietor of the English and American literature Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, checks her messages on her phone in Paris, Nov. 5, 2020.

Credit:

Francois Mori/AP

Amazon often offers cheap books with fast and free delivery options, making it hard for independent bookstores to compete. The new law regulating delivery fees will put a bit more power back into the hands of indie shops.

Bright Spot?

🚀 Would you hop on a hoverbike — a $680,000 one? If your answer is yes, you might want to check ALI Technologies’ XTurismo Limited Edition electric hoverbike now available to order in Japan. It can fly for 40 minutes at up to 60 miles per hour on a single charge! It’s just perfect for a short commute. But here is the catch: Current traffic regulations in Japan do not allow hoverbikes to fly over roads. The makers of the vehicle hope this can be of use for rescue teams when needing to reach areas difficult to access.

A Japanese startup company has launched a hoverbike for a whopping 77.7 million yen, or about $680,000. The XTurismo Limited Edition can fly for roughly 40 minutes with a top speed over 60 mph. pic.twitter.com/fMJOFTE58l

— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 27, 2021In case you missed itListen: Haiti fuel shortage intensifies

People push and shove as they try to get their tanks filled at a gas station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sept. 22, 2021. In addition to kidnappings, gangs are blamed for blocking gas distribution terminals and hijacking supply trucks, which officials say has led to a shortage of fuel. 

Credit:

Rodrigo Abd/AP

Haiti is running out of fuel. The severe fuel shortage has intensified because gangs are blockading fuel supplies at ports located in areas controlled by them. And we hear from Osama, who grew up in the West Bank during the first and second intifadas. A chance encounter with a group of Jewish people made him question his own prejudices and he now works for peace. Plus, a court in Madrid has ruled that a couple, now separated, will have joint custody of their dog. The ruling recognized the people as “co-carers” so that Panda, the dog, will now alternate between two homes.

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Iran faces widespread gas station outage, believed to be a cyberattack.

Iran faces widespread gas station outage, believed to be a cyberattack.

By
The World staff

A gas station is empty because the gas pumps are out of service in Tehran, Iran, after a widespread outage of a system that allows consumers to buy fuel with a government-issued card, Oct. 26, 2021.

Credit:

Vahid Salemi/AP

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Iran
A widespread network outage, believed to be caused by a cyberattack, has affected gas stations across Iran, shutting down a government system that manages fuel subsidies, and leaving angry motorists stranded in long lines at shuttered stations. No group has claimed responsibility for the outage. The semiofficial ISNA news agency reported that  those trying to buy fuel with a government-issued card through machines received a message reading “cyberattack 64411.” Most Iranians rely on the subsidies to fuel their vehicles, particularly amid the country’s economic problems, and an economy that’s been buckling under US sanctions. The use of the number “64411” mirrors an cyberattack in July targeting Iran’s railroad system that also saw the number displayed. Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point later attributed the train attack to a group of hackers that called themselves Indra, after the Hindu god of war.

Sudan
A day after a military coup in Sudan, protesters burned tires and blocked roads with makeshift barricades in the capital Khartoum. The takeover came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and pace of Sudan’s transition to a democratic system, which has made slow progress since the ousting of former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan maintains that the military ousted the government to avoid civil war. The US had removed Khartoum from a list of state sponsors of terrorism last year, and recently voiced support for civilian rule sending in the top regional envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, to dissuade the military leadership from seizing power, but the generals made their move three hours after Feltman’s departure.

Egypt
Egypt has ended its state of emergency for the first time since 2017, saying that it’s no longer needed. Since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981, Egypt has been under a continuous state of emergency with the exception of a few years following the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. It was reinstated after the bombings of two Coptic churches by an ISIS affiliate that killed more than 40 people and wounded dozens more in April 2017. The state of emergency had granted the government sweeping authority to quash protests, detain dissidents and control everyday life in the most populous Arab country. Prominent Egyptian activist Hossam Bahgat said the decision would stop the use of emergency state security courts, though it would not apply to some high-profile cases already referred to such courts.

From The WorldIsraeli designation of 6 NGOs as terrorist organizations ‘criminalizes’ civil society work, media consultant says

Shawan Jabarin, director of the al-Haq human rights group, at the organization’s offices in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 23, 2021.

Credit:

Majdi Mohammed/AP

Israel’s defense minister has designated six Palestinian rights groups — al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Defense for Children International-Palestine and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees — as terrorist organizations. Israel says the groups are connected to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been behind attacks in the past.

The announcement brought swift condemnation. The US State Department said it was never notified of the decision, and human rights campaigners say the terror designations are baseless. Activists called on the international community on Saturday to help reverse Israel’s unprecedented decision.

Nour Odeh, a media consultant based in Ramallah, who is a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office, discussed the move with The World’s Carol Hills.

In China, jump roping is a popular competitive sport. Skill level also affects kids’ grades.

A man and woman twirl a jump rope for a girl at a park in Beijing, Oct. 31, 2015.

Credit:

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

In China, where classrooms can have upwards of 40 students, jump rope is a relatively inexpensive sport. It doesn’t take up much space so it’s become a popular measure of student fitness. And it’s not just a requirement — it impacts your final grade.

Double Take

A “long-awaited victory.” That’s what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called a decision by a Dutch court which ruled that a collection of archeological objects from the disputed Crimean Peninsula should be returned to Ukraine, as they are “part of the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian state.” Crimea loaned the artifacts to the Allard Pierson museum in Amsterdam before Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russian officials and lawmakers have vowed to appeal.

🇳🇱🇺🇦 In what Kyiv hailed as a “victory”, a Dutch court ruled a trove of cultural treasures from Crimea should be handed to the Ukrainian government. https://t.co/IkrKLmeJm2

— euronews (@euronews) October 26, 2021In case you missed itListen: Sudan’s military takes power in coup

In this frame taken from video, the head of the military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, announced in a televised address that he was dissolving the country’s ruling Sovereign Council, as well as the government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021. 

Credit:

Sudan TV via AP

Sudan TV/AP

The armed forces in Sudan have detained the country’s prime minister along with other top officials and dissolved the joint civilian-military government that was steering the country toward democratic reform in an apparent military coup. And Afghanistan will restart nationwide polio vaccinations after more than three years. The new Taliban government agreed to assist the campaign and will allow women to participate as front-line workers. Also, jump-rope contests are popular entertainment on Chinese TV. Now, parents are sending their kids to jump-rope cramming schools for another reason — gaining an edge on their test scores.

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Sudan’s military seizes power, dissolves transitional government

Sudan’s military seizes power, dissolves transitional government

By
The World staff

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021.

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Ashraf Idris/AP

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Sudan
After dissolving Sudan’s transitional government and placing acting Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest, the military seized power in Sudan. Thousands took to the streets in Khartoum, and at least 12 protesters were wounded in demonstrations, according to the Sudanese Doctors Committee. The head of the ruling council, military officer Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced a state of emergency across the country and said that the military needed to protect the country’s safety and security, which the 2019 transitional government failed to do. In just a few weeks, Sudan’s military was expected to hand leadership of the Sudan’s ruling council to civilians. The military takeover comes two years after countrywide protests forced Omar al-Bashir,  who ruled Sudan for 30 years, to step down.

UN greenhouse gas report
Just days before the start of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization released a report that says that climate-heating gas levels in the atmosphere hit record highs in 2020, despite the coronavirus-related lockdowns, and that greenhouse gas concentrations increased at the fastest rate in the past 10 years. In a worrisome development, the report also points out that parts of the Amazon are no longer a carbon sink due to deforestation and low humidity levels in the region. The UN climate conference, running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, marks an important opportunity for concrete commitments to reach targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

China
China is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination program to include children between the ages of 3 and 11. About 76% of China’s population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Authorities maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks and continue with mass testing of residents and targeted lockdowns. On Monday, the National Health Commission reported 35 new cases of local transmission detected over the past 24 hours, four of them in Gansu province, leading to the shutdown of all tourist sites. The Beijing marathon, with an expected attendance of 30,000 people this upcoming weekend, has been postponed until further notice as the country seeks to control localized outbreaks ahead of the February Winter Olympics.

From The WorldNetflix hit ‘Squid Game’ exposes the growing resentment between rich and poor, psychiatrist says

Members of the South Korean Confederation of Trade Unions wearing masks and costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series “Squid Game” attend a rally demanding job security in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 20, 2021.

Credit:

Ahn Young-joon/AP

The new Netflix psychological thriller series “Squid Game” is intense and brutal — but it’s also fiction. Why does it have such far-reaching impact around the world? Psychiatrist Jean Kim discusses the history of the Koreas and how it affects today’s popular culture with The World’s host Marco Werman.

Foragers in Catalonia embrace a new mushroom-hunting season after last year’s strict lockdown

Pep González, a longtime mushroom forager, on a hunt for mushrooms in the forest.

Credit:

Lucía Benavides/The World

This year, mushroom-hunting season is more anticipated than ever after last year’s strict quarantine measures kept most people in their own municipalities for the entire winter. The tradition is particularly strong in the northeast region of Catalonia.

Double Take

A rare coin that was worth just pennies in the 17th century when it was minted in New England could now sell for around $300,000. The coin, found in Boston, is set to go on auction in London next month. It’s been called the “star of the collection” by the auctioneer’s coin specialist James Morton. 💰

Rare silver coin made in Colonial New England could fetch $300,000 at auction https://t.co/TrqAql6Qz9

— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 21, 2021In case you missed itListen: Israeli prime minister takes his first trip to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speak during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Oct. 22, 2021. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Friday for their first meeting, hailing friendly ties between the two countries. 

Credit:

Evgeny Biyatov/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/AP

Over the past decade, the Israeli government has been cozying up to Moscow. On Friday, new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to Russia for the first time and met with President Vladimir Putin at a resort in Sochi, Russia, to discuss Israel and Russia’s “special relationship.” Also, the Netflix series “Squid Game” is a dark comedy about a competition that emerges from Korean culture, but has widespread appeal. We speak to a psychiatrist who explains why the new show resonates so far and wide beyond South Korea. And, since the summer, Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been sending Syrian and Iraqi migrants across its borders into EU countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. The Lukashenko regime has also continued to clamp down on political dissent, this week raiding one of the few independent news outlets, Novy Chas.

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Flooding and mudslides kill about 200 people in Nepal

Flooding and mudslides kill about 200 people in Nepal

By
The World staff

People wade past a flooded area in Dipayal Silgadhi, Nepal, Oct. 21, 2021.

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Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi/AP

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Nepal
More than 200 people are reported dead following flooding and mudslides in Nepal. Around 40 others have been injured and authorities are searching for dozens of people who remain missing. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visited the flood-stricken areas in the western parts of the country on Thursday, promising a government relief package, but residents say they’re still waiting for assistance. Heavy rains destroyed crops, bridges and homes. The unseasonably strong downpours have also caused havoc in neighboring India.

Ethiopia
Ethiopian forces have conducted airstrikes on the regional capital of Tigray for a fourth day this week. The raids forced a United Nations humanitarian flight to abandon its landing in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region. Government spokesman Legesse Tulu said the strikes targeted a former military training center that is now being used as a hub by rival Tigray forces. The region has seen nearly a year of fighting between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Thousands of people have been killed, and 2 million have been displaced by the fighting since last November. About 6 million people face a government blockade and humanitarian groups fear widespread starvation.

Belarus
Popular Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda has had to shut down its branch in Belarus after authorities arrested a member of its local staff there. The paper came under pressure after it ran a story about a shootout in Minsk that left an opposition supporter and a KGB officer dead. The Belarusian Ministry of Information blocked access to the paper’s website in the country last week ahead of the arrest. The Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement on Thursday saying, “Belarusian authorities should stop harassing independent journalists and refrain from charging or imprisoning members of the press over their work.”

From The WorldDelgrès founder pays tribute to his family’s Guadeloupean roots through music

Screenshot from the “4 a.m.” music video by Delgrés. 

Credit:

Delgrés/YouTube

Pascal Danaë, who founded the band Delgrès, often draws inspiration from his Guadeloupean roots and his parents’ immigrant and working-class background. The group’s latest album is “4 a.m.,” the time when most factory workers, like his father, wake up to start their long day. Danaë spoke to The World’s Marco Werman about his new album and from where he draws his inspiration.

The Global Hits Spotify playlist with music from Delgrès and other artists we have featured in the show is here — over 4 hours of global music. 🎶
 

Haiti’s compounding crisis

The World Monica Campbell during an interview in Haiti, Oct. 2021.

Credit:

Courtesy of Monica Campbell

It’s fair to say that Haiti has had a brutal year. In July, the nation’s president was assassinated. A month later, a massive 7.2 earthquake rocked the country, killing more than 2,000 people. The country is now plagued by a transportation strike and shortages of gas and water. The World’s Monica Campbell is in Haiti reporting from the Pestel region to give us an on-the-ground look at the deep problems plaguing the Caribbean nation.

Double Take

Concerns over “security” led to the detention of a robot in Egypt. British-built artist robot Ai-Da 🤖 and her sculpture were held in Egyptian customs for 10 days before being released on Wednesday, sparking a diplomatic fracas. There were worries that the robot was part of a wider espionage plot. “The British ambassador has been working through the night to get Ai-Da released, but we’re right up to the wire now,” said Aidan Meller, the human force behind Ai-Da, shortly before her release. “It’s really stressful.”

Robot artist Ai-Da released by Egyptian border guards https://t.co/7uTuwhS1Yl

— BBC North America (@BBCNorthAmerica) October 21, 2021In case you missed itListen: Controversial TV pundit shakes up French politics

So far, many have considered France’s presidential election next April a close race between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. But recently, far-right columnist and TV commentator Eric Zemmour has been soaring in opinion polls, throwing the race wide open. And, court battles are keeping the Biden administration from completely undoing the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy. It’s kept thousands of asylum-seekers waiting in Mexican border towns while their asylum petitions move through US courts. Plus, blues-rock musician Pascal Danaë and his trio, “Delgrès,” has a new album called “4 a.m.” Danaë tells us about how his ancestors in Guadeloupe, and seeing his great-great-grandmother’s affidavit of her freedom from slavery in 1841, influenced the trio’s new album.

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A milestone for India: 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

A milestone for India: 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.

By
The World staff

A health worker inoculates a man next to a banner thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine at a government hospital in New Delhi, India, Oct. 21, 2021.

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Manish Swarup/AP

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India – Russia
India has reached a milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign: 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. Now, half of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and many of those shots have come in the past few months, following a slow initial roll out. Still, millions of Indians are yet to receive a single dose of the jab. Meanwhile in Russia, Moscow announced a new set of restrictions that will shut down restaurants, cinemas and non-food stores, as the country hit a new record in the daily numbers of new coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic. About 45 million Russians are fully vaccinated in a country with a population of 146 million.

Eswatini
After a flare-up in protests against King Mswati III over the past two weeks, the kingdom of Eswatini’s communication commission directed mobile operators to suspend Facebook and its messenger app until further notice. This happened on Wednesday, after students, civil servants and union workers took to the streets in protest. The internet also went offline, making it difficult for protesters to share information about the gatherings. Since June, Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has seen a growing wave of unrest, with demonstrations against King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in Africa, who has ruled the landlocked nation since 1986. Pro-democracy protesters are demanding a modern political system in which the prime minister can be elected through a vote and not be appointed by the king. He has also been criticized for living a lavish lifestyle in one of the world’s poorest countries.

United Nations
Countries including Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia, have asked the United Nations to play down the need to rapidly move away from dependence on fossil fuels, according to leaked documents obtained and analyzed by BBC news. The documents, a set of more than 32,000 memos by different governments, companies and other parties to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reveal how nations are pushing back on UN recommendations for actions that could mitigate climate change.

From The WorldTensions rise over Beirut blast investigation

Lebanese teachers react to the sounds from nearby armed clashes as they flee their school under the protection of Lebanese soldiers after a clash erupted along a former 1975-90 civil war front line between Muslim Shiite and Christian areas at Ain el-Rumaneh neighborhood, in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Hussein Malla/AP

A rally against Tarek Bitar, the Lebanese judge in charge of investigating the Beirut port blast, have turned parts of the capital into a war zone. Clashes have left at least seven people dead. Now, the question is, can the investigation move forward?

The US farmworker shortage spurs farmers to lobby for immigration reform

Farmworkers, who declined to give their names, break up earth near St. Paul, Oregon, July 1, 2021.

Credit:

Nathan Howard/AP/File photo

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened a farmworker shortage in the United States, and now more farm owners are applying to hire foreign workers to meet demands.

Double Take

And the award goes to — three men disguised as a woman!

The Planeta prize, a Spanish literary award, was meant for the acclaimed female thriller writer “Carmen Mola.” But television scriptwriters Agustín Martínez, Jorge Díaz and Antonio Mercero proceeded to the stage to claim the prize. Astonished guests included Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia. The trio had previously presented Mola as a female university professor who lived in Madrid with her husband and children. Mola’s stories are centered around an intriguing detective named Elena Blanco.

Female Spanish thriller writer Carmen Mola revealed to be three men https://t.co/WEqV909wBW

— The Guardian (@guardian) October 16, 2021In case you missed itListen: Bolsonaro accused of crimes against humanity for COVID negligence

A plaque reads in Portuguese “603,324 lives lost to COVID-19” in front of Sen. Renan Calheiros during the session by a Senate committee investigating the handling of the pandemic by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil, Oct. 18, 2021. The committee is taking testimony from people who have lost relatives to the coronavirus. 

Credit:

Eraldo Peres/AP

A Brazilian Senate Commission investigating President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil issued its final report on Wednesday, accusing him of crimes against humanity. The 1,200-page report details malfeasance, the blocking of needed health measures, and the illegal use of public funds. And in Syria, two roadside bombs that detonated under a bridge hit a bus in Damascus on Wednesday, killing 14 people. It’s a sign that despite the Assad government’s recent efforts to normalize relations abroad, Syria’s civil war still rages. Also, after days of speculation, North Korea says it had test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine in order to enhance its undersea capabilities. It’s the first such launch since 2016, and it comes as the US, South Korea and Japan meet to discuss restarting talks with Pyongyang.

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Moqtada al-Sadr wins Iraq election

Moqtada al-Sadr wins Iraq election

By
The World staff

Followers of Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate holding his posters, after the announcement of the results of the parliamentary elections in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Oct. 11, 2021.

Credit:

Khalid Mohammed/AP

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Iraq
Moqtada al-Sadr’s party has won the most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections. The firebrand cleric is known for his resistance to US-led forces during the 2003 invasion. Sadr and his aides have refused to meet with American officials. He welcomed all embassies into the country on Monday “as long as they do not interfere in Iraqi affairs or the formation of a government.” His nationalist views also put him at odds with Iran. And pro-Iranian groups have questioned the legitimacy of the results. Sunday’s election was marked by a record low voter turnout of 41%. The election, set for 2022, was held early in response to anti-government protests that started in 2019.

Nigeria
Six women and nine children abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria have managed to escape from captivity. They met with Borno Gov. Babagana Zulum in the state’s capital, Maiduguri. The former hostages had been kidnapped in two separate incidents last October. The women and children hiked for six days through the forest and were finally discovered and taken to safety by security forces. The UN says that the Boko Haram extremist group has abducted more than 1,000 children since 2013.

Ethiopia
Rebels say they’re holding their ground as the Ethiopian army launches coordinated attacks on all fronts against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The TPLF says the army is using artillery, tanks, jets and drones, though the Ethiopian government has not yet confirmed the fighting. The offensive ends a ceasefire that was declared in June. The 11-month conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has left thousands of people dead and another 2 million displaced, sparking a humanitarian crisis that’s created faminelike conditions, according to the United Nations.

From The WorldIndia will soon roll out a DNA vaccine for the coronavirus. It’s the latest example of how COVID-19 is transforming vaccines.

A health worker inoculates a man during a vaccination drive against COVID-19 in Delhi, India, Sept. 29, 2021. India will soon roll out a DNA vaccine for the coronavirus.

Credit:

Altaf Qadri/AP

The pandemic has shown how a tiny virus can turn the world upside down, but it’s also ushering in a new era of science that many hope will help combat other deadly infectious diseases.

One kind of genetic technology that has been in the works for decades — DNA vaccines, which use engineered DNA to induce an immunologic response — is finally making its debut for widespread use on people in India this fall.

Not all youth soccer players have the same opportunities. These Iowa clubs try to shrink that gap.

Girls on the Genesis Youth Foundation soccer team show off their skills with the ball at their practice in Des Moines. Most players on the club are African refugees or their parents are.

Credit:

Kassidy Arena/IPR

Sam Gabriel, director of the Genesis Youth Foundation club, who came to Iowa as a refugee from Liberia, created a program so kids could have a level playing field, both in soccer and in life.

Double take

We’ve all heard about Neanderthals, our shorter, stockier humanoid cousins who died out roughly 40,000 years ago. Lots of Neanderthal bones have been found in Europe, as a chilly climate there helps preserve fossils. There are also plenty of well-financed European institutions to study those bones. But scientists are starting to realize that when it comes to ancient species of humans, Southeast Asia might actually be a much more interesting place. 🎧

A reconstructed Neanderthal skeleton, right, and a modern human skeleton on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York, Jan. 8, 2003.

Credit:

Frank Franklin II/AP/File photo

In case you missed itListen: Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

People ride on a float with a large bust of Christopher Columbus during the Columbus Day parade in New York, Oct. 8, 2012. The Oct. 12 federal holiday dedicated to Christopher Columbus continues to divide those who view the explorer as a representative of Italian Americans’ history and those horrified by an annual tribute that ignores the native people whose lives and culture were forever changed by colonialism.

Credit:

Seth Wenig/AP

The US is grappling with its identity today. Is it Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day? Or neither? Depends on where you live. In Spain, there’s little doubt — Columbus Day is a massive celebration, referred to as the National Day of Spain. This year in Madrid, the right-wing government is spending more than $1 million on a two-week long festivity with dozens of events. Also, Poland has ruled that its constitution takes precedence over EU Law. That has raised the possibility of Poland leaving the 27-nation bloc. Or, more likely, a standoff over whose law reigns supreme. And, whether it’s called soccer or fútbol, the sport unites immigrant children in the US from diverse backgrounds. Yet, it doesn’t always provide equal opportunities for all of the kids.

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Border talks between India and China fail

Border talks between India and China fail

By
The World staff

An Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Sept. 9, 2020.

Credit:

Dar Yasin/AP/File photo

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India-China
Talks between Indian and Chinese military officials aiming to diffuse border tensions have ended in a stalemate, leading to the continuation of a 17-month standoff that’s led to some deadly clashes. The two countries will now keep troops through the winter at areas along the de facto border known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates Chinese- and Indian-held territories from Ladakh, a territory that China claims in its entirety. Both countries have positioned tens of thousands of soldiers, artillery, tanks and fighter jets along the LAC. Both sides are blaming each other for the breakdown in talks.

‘Polexit?’
Large pro-EU protests were held in cities across Poland on Sunday, sparked by fears of the country’s possible exit from the European Union. This comes after Poland’s highest court ruled that the Polish constitution overrides EU law when they conflict with each other. The ruling, in a case initiated by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, is being seen as a rejection of European principles. The European Commission and Warsaw’s conservartive government have been at odds for several years, with the EU accusing Poland of undermining the independence of the body’s judicial system. The EU is also holding back on deciding over the disbursement of postpandemic funds.

China
Severe flooding in China’s northern Shanxi province has affected more than 1.76 million people. Torrential rain over the past week — which in some cases was four times the usual monthly precipitation average — caused landslides, a dam collapse and inundations in 70 cities and districts across the province. Continued rain is also hampering rescue efforts, with some villages being left underwater, trapping residents. More than 120,000 people have been urgently transferred and resettled, according to local news agencies.

From The WorldSister of imprisoned Saudi aid worker: ‘They are already calling me a terrorist’

In this photo provided by the family of Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, Abdulrahman al-Sadhan poses with his sister Areej Al Sadhan for a graduation photo, at Notre Dame de Namur University, a private Catholic university, in Belmont, California, May 4, 2013. A court in Saudi Arabia has upheld a verdict that sentences the Saudi aid worker who criticized the government on Twitter to 20 years in prison and an additional 20-year travel ban after his release, drawing criticism from the Biden administration on Oct. 6, 2021.

Credit:

Family of Abdulrahman al-Sadhan via AP

A court in Saudi Arabia upheld a 20-year prison term imposed on Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, a Saudi aid worker who had criticized the government on Twitter, drawing a rare public rebuke from the US in another sign of tension between the Biden administration and the kingdom. Abdulrahman al-Sadhan’s sister Areej al-Sadhan, a dual Saudi-US citizen, talked to The World’s host Marco Werman about the situation.

Nobel winner Abdulrazak Gurnah brings dignity to stories of colonial dispossession, colleague says

Zanzibar-born, British-based novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah poses for a photo at his home in Canterbury, England, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.

Credit:

Frank Augstein/AP

The Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Zanzibar-born, British-based writer of 10 novels and numerous short stories. The world has discovered the magic that lies at the heart of Abdulrazak Gurnah’s project, says Bashir Abu-Manneh, head of the English department at the University of Kent, where he and Gurnah have taught together for many years.

Bright Spot

Now, you can listen to Beethoven’s once unfinished 10th Symphony — thanks to a team of sicentist and musicians and artificial inteligence (AI). 🎧

AI might seem untouchable to those who don’t understand its inner workings, but it can predict music notes just like a phone or email tries to predict text as a person types.

Combo photo from The World’s Instagram post

Credit:

Wikimedia commons/Beethoven Museum

In case you missed itListen: Nobel Peace Prize shines a light on freedom of expression

Maria Ressa, center, the award-winning head of a Philippine online news site Rappler, is escorted into the courtroom to post bail at a Regional Trial Court following an overnight arrest by National Bureau of Investigation agents on a libel case, Feb. 14, 2019, in the Philippines. 

Credit:

Bullit Marquez/AP

For the first time since 1935, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists: Maria Ressa of the Philippines, and Russian independent journalist Dmitry Muratov. The award honors their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression against the growing threats against it. And it’s election time in Iraq, where a high-stakes parliamentary vote will take place on Sunday. The election was called a year early in response to major protests in 2019. Plus, for nearly two centuries since Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, his 10th Symphony sat unfinished and largely untouched. But with a little help from modern technology — that’s about to change.

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Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov awarded Nobel Peace Prize

By
The World staff

A combo of file images of Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov, left, and of Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa, who were awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, Oct. 8, 2021.

Credit:

Mikhail Metzel and Aaron Favila/AP/File photos

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Nobel Prize
Journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia have been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Ressa co-founded Rappler in 2012, a news website critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs campaign. And Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993, which the Nobel committee described as “the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power.” It’s the same newspaper where journalist Anna Politkovskaya worked, covering the bloody conflict in Chechnya, before she was killed in 2006.

Afghanistan
Another explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan has killed at least 20 people and injured more than 90 others. The blast went off during Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban special forces at the scene were investigating the incident. The bombing comes days after an attack at the Eidgah mosque in Kabul — which the ISIS-K group took responsibility for — during funeral services for Mujahid’s mother.

Iraq
Iraqis will head to the polls this Sunday for parliamentary elections. Some have already begun early voting, including security personnel. It’s the first vote since protests broke out against the government in 2019, and since Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qasem Soleimani was assassinated in Baghdad in 2020. The vote was set to take place in 2022, but was moved forward as a concession to the protesters. There are more than 25 million eligible voters in Iraq, but many say they won’t vote because they don’t trust the established political parties. Corruption and mismanagement have left many people without work, proper health care, education or electricity.

From The WorldCanada tries to boost immigration by fast-tracking applications

A vehicle in Canada waits for a gate to rise while crossing into Derby Line, Vt. from Stanstead, Quebec, July 11, 2018. Before the pandemic, Canada’s population was growing faster than any other G-7 country. Nearly all of that growth came from immigration. But last year, the pandemic got in the way. Because of border restrictions and a slowdown in services, immigration fell by half. 

Credit:

Charles Krupa/AP/File photo

The number of immigrants coming to Canada dropped dramatically last year because of the pandemic. Now, the country is trying to boost immigration numbers by reducing the criteria to become a permanent Canadian resident.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth calls for a ‘real, cold-hard facts look’ at US’ failed 20-year war in Afghanistan

Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 28, 2021.

Credit:

Patrick Semansky/AP Pool/File photo

Sen. Duckworth has called her proposal the Afghanistan War Study Commission. “I hope that it will achieve a comprehensive look at the various errors that have been made by all the different folks involved and gives us the lessons learned so that we don’t enter into another quagmire like the one we’ve been in for 20 years in Afghanistan,” Sen. Duckworth told The World’s Marco Werman

Bright Spot

Car horns, ambulances, police cars and auto rickshaws: Traffic can be chaotic in India and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari hates those chaotic sounds. He is working on a new law that will replace them with the sounds of Indian musical instruments — tablas, violins, flutes, the mouth organ and the harmonium. 🎧 Can you imagiine how traffic might sound if the law is passed? 🚗🚓

Vehicles move slowly through a traffic intersection after the end of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in in New Delhi, India, Jan. 16, 2016

Credit:

Altaf Qadri/AP/File photo

In case you missed itListen: Abdulrazak Gurnah wins 2021 Nobel Prize for literature

Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah poses for a photo at his home in Canterbury, England, Oct. 7, 2021. 

Credit:

Frank Augstein/AP

The Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize for literature to novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah. The author of numerous novels who grew up in Zanzibar, Gurnah was selected for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism.” And, many in the US are asking what went wrong in Afghanistan after two decades of war ended with Taliban rule. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth is calling for a 9/11-style commission to look at the past 20 years of US involvement in Afghanistan.  Also, traffic in Indian cities can get really noisy with car horns and sirens blaring nonstop. Now, India’s transport minister is working on a new law that would replace them with the soothing sounds of tablas and other Indian instruments.

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Moderna to build manufacturing plant in Africa

Moderna to build manufacturing plant in Africa

By
The World staff

Vials of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in Jackson, Miss., Sept. 21, 2021.

Credit:

Rogelio V. Solis/AP/File photo

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Moderna Africa
Biotechnology company Moderna announced its plans to build a manufacturing plant in Africa, capable of producing up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines per year, including those for COVID-19 and other diseases. The plant, which still has no specific location in the African continent, will take two to four years to build. The Massachusetts-based company has been under pressure from African countries and the World Health Organization to make vaccines on the continent, which has the lowest COVID-19 immunization rate. Pfizer and partner BioNTech also announced a deal in July to start producing shots in Cape Town, South Africa.

Germany-Denmark
Germany and Denmark have repatriated 11 women and 37 children who were living in the Roj prison camp in northeastern Syria, a camp under Kurdish control where suspected ISIS members have been held since the group’s fall in 2019. In a statement, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the children are not responsible for their situation, but the mothers “will have to answer to criminal justice for their actions.” Three of the eight women were arrested upon arrival at Frankfurt airport under multiple charges, including membership in a foreign terror organization and violations of their duties of care and education for their children. At arrival in Denmark, the three women were also arrested on preliminary charges, including promoting terrorism.

Nobel Prize in Literature
Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents,” the Swedish Academy said. Gurnah, who has published 10 novels and other short stories, grew up in the East African archipelago of Zanzibar. He arrived in England as a refugee in the 1960s and recently retired as a professor of postcolonial literature at the University of Kent. Gurnah is the first Black African winner of the coveted Literature prize since Nigerian novelist and playwright Wole Soyinka won in 1986.

From The WorldFirst WHO-backed malaria vaccine is a ‘dream for the community,’ health expert says

In this Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, file photo, a woman waits outside the Migowi Health Clinic to be injected with the world’s first vaccine against malaria in a pilot program, in Migowi, Malawi. 

Credit:

Jerome Delay/AP/File 

The head of the World Health Organization announced a “historic” malaria vaccine that’s safe for children. Regina Rabinovich, the director of the Malaria Elimination Initiative at ISGlobal and a visiting scholar at Harvard University, joined The World’s host Marco Werman to discuss the advancement.

Behind in polls, Bolsonaro bolsters his base with far-right rhetoric from the US

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro stands in front of a US flag during a news conference at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.

Credit:

Eraldo Peres/AP/File photo

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s ties with America’s far-right movement deepen as Brazilian conservative groups expand their global connections. He hosted a conference last month backed by American conservatives known as CPAC-Brazil.

Bright Spot

Betting on peace!

As the world waits for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize announcement on Friday, there are people around the world making bets on who could win. They follow clues leaked to the press or big news stories of the year to increase their odds. “Currently, the World Health Organization are the favorites in the betting,” Rachael Kane of Paddy Power, a gambling site in the UK and Ireland, told The World. ( 🎧) “Other favorites include Reporters Without Borders, the jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and climate activist Greta Thunberg.”

Photo of a Nobel medal displayed during a ceremony in New York, Oct. 7, 2021.

Credit:

 Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP/File

In case you missed itListen: ‘Historic’ malaria vaccine proven safe for kids

The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday that a vaccine against malaria has been found to be safe and effective — including for kids, who account for the vast majority of malaria deaths. And for decades, an international network of clergy sexual abuse survivors and their advocates have been pushing for more accountability within the Catholic Church. We hear from accountability experts about how an inquiry in France may reverberate worldwide. Also, 14% of endangered coral reefs were lost between 2008 and 2019. But one oceanic expert says there’s still room for hope in conservation.

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Report reveals more than 200,000 children abused by clergy in France

Report reveals more than 200,000 children abused by clergy in France

By
The World staff

Commission president Jean-Marc Sauve, left, hands copies of the report to Catholic Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, during the publishing of a report by an independant commission into sexual abuse by church officials, Oct. 5, 2021.

Credit:

Thomas Coex, Pool via AP

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France
A new probe has revealed that Roman Catholic clergy in France had sexually abused more than 200,000 children since 1950. The head of the commission that compiled the report said the Catholic Church had shown “deep, total and even cruel indifference for years,” protecting itself instead of the victims in what became systemic abuse. Most of the victims were boys, many of them between the ages of 10 and 13. The damning report also revealed that the abuse was more widespread in France than previously thought, and the number of victims could be as high as 330,000 when including those committed by lay members of the Church, such as teachers at Catholic schools. Pope Francis said he “felt pain” over the findings in a statement released by the Vatican.

Facebook
Facebook and its associated apps, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, went down for about six hours on Monday around the world. The company has apologized for the global outage, but the cause is still unknown. Many parts of the world  have become completely dependent on these technology platforms. In addition to not being able to chat with family and friends and post photos, the outage also disrupted critical connections including conducting business, providing medical care and holding virtual classes. The outage comes as the Federal Trade Commission in the US has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company, accusing it of being a monopolist. According to Facebook’s own statistics, 2.76 billion people on average used at least one Facebook product each day just during the month of June.

Russia
Russia has reported a record number of COVID-19 deaths and infections for the fifth time in a week as it grapples with another surge caused by the highly infectious delta variant. The country has a vaccination rate below 30%, and health workers have blamed the resurgence on young people refusing to get vaccinated. Independent polls have shown that many remain skeptical of the Russian-made vaccines. Last month, President Vladimir Putin was forced to go into self-isolation after “several dozen people” in the president’s inner circle tested positive for the coronavirus.

From The WorldLebanon’s political class ‘ripped off’ the country’s potential, ‘Pandora’ investigator says

Parliament meets to confirm Lebanon’s new government at a Beirut theater known as the UNESCO palace so that parliament members could observe social distancing measures imposed over the coronavirus pandemic, Lebanon, Sept. 20, 2021.

Credit:

Bilal Hussein/AP/File photo

The “Pandora Papers” exposed offshore accounts of the rich and powerful around the globe, including members of Lebanon’s elite. Alia Ibrahim, founder of Daraj Media, a team that helped bring the investigation to light, told The World’s Marco Werman that they have been investigating the head of Lebanon’s central bank, who “since the ’90s has been taking his own money outside, while telling the Lebanese depositors and Arab depositors and others that the currency is very safe and that they can keep their money inside the banks,” Ibrahim said.

“His own money is well-kept in safe havens, in real estate, etc., while the money of the depositors and the average citizen is locked in the bank and they can have no access to it whatsoever.”

Spain vows to help rebuild La Palma after devastating volcano eruption

A worker cleans the ash from the tables of a restaurant as lava flows from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, Oct. 4, 2021. 

Credit:

Daniel Roca/AP

It’s been more than two weeks since a volcano began erupting on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma, leaving residents there worried about the coming weeks and months. The damage done to La Palma’s infrastructure alone is estimated to be at more than $20 million, according to local authorities.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced approval for a $239 million recovery plan for La Palma during his third visit to the island since the volcano erupted.

Double Take

If you’ve been putting off getting your Master’s degree, here’s a new option. 🎓 The University of Liverpool is launching a Master’s program on one of the most popular bands of all time: the Beatles. The program will focus on how attitudes toward the ever-popular group have changed in the decades since their founding. 🎧

Brb, moving to Liverpool to get my masters in The Beatles https://t.co/GjfklW8t0n

— Jesus Jiménez (@jesus_jimz) October 2, 2021In case you missed itListen: The hidden riches of Lebanon’s leaders

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks during a joint press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Bisher Khasawneh, at the Government House in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 30, 2021. 

Credit:

Bilal Hussein/AP

The “Pandora Papers” are being called the greatest-ever leak of secret deals and hidden assets. Top Lebanese officials are among the powerful whose secrets are revealed in the leak. And, confidence in British police has been shaken following the sentencing of a serving police officer for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard in London last March. Advice to women on how to handle their fears of male police officers has proven “laughable” by some women’s rights groups. Plus, The University of Liverpool is launching a master’s program on one of the most popular bands of all time: the Beatles. The program will focus on how attitudes toward the ever-popular group have changed over the decades.

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‘Pandora Papers’ expose hidden wealth of global elite

‘Pandora Papers’ expose hidden wealth of global elite

By
The World staff

Jordan’s King Abdullah II speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, May 2021.

Credit:

Johanna Geron/Pool via AP/File photo

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‘Pandora Papers’
A trove of leaked documents, referred to as the Pandora Papers, has revealed the secret assets of hundreds of world leaders, including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and associates of both Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The documents, reported on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists involving 150 media outlets, shed light on the previously hidden dealings of the elite, who used offshore accounts to keep assets collectively worth trillions of dollars, secret from public view. Of the leaders exposed in the papers, King Abdullah was part of a major investigation and was shown to have had $100 million in hidden properties in southeast England, Washington and cliff-top mansions in Malibu, Calif.

New Zealand and Israel
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans to walk back her government’s zero-tolerance strategy to the coronavirus pandemic, acknowledging that health authorities can no longer completely get rid of COVID-19. The elimination strategy had largely worked with the country of 5 million reporting just 27 deaths from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite New Zealand imposing some of the toughest lockdown restrictions, the highly contagious delta variant has forced officials to reconsider their approach. Elsewhere, Israeli officials announced new restrictions Sunday on the country’s COVID Green Pass, making a booster shot a requirement to access indoor venues, which prompted immediate backlash.

Nobel Prize for medicine
American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian have been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for their discoveries into how the human body perceives temperature and touch. The award recognized the revelations of Julius and Patapoutian’s discoveries and how they could lead to new ways of treating pain, or even heart disease. The physicians’ studies underscore how much there is still to learn about how humans perceive the external world.

From The WorldBiden administration takes step to ‘bulletproof’ DACA

An immigrant family joins members of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, CHIRLA, on a vehicle caravan rally to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), around MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, June 18, 2020. On Sept. 27, 2021, the Biden administration renewed efforts to shield hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the United States as young children from deportation, the latest maneuver in a long-running drama over the policy’s legality.

Credit:

Damian Dovarganes/AP

The Biden administration filed a DACA rule in the Federal Register. This step allows the public to submit comments about the program during a 60-day period, followed by a vetting process before it becomes a federal regulation. Advocates hope to see the rule expanded.

Chinese govt cracks down on online gaming, TikTok — claiming that tech has outsize influence on society

A child plays with a toy gun during a promotion for online games in Beijing on Aug. 29, 2020. China is banning children from playing online games for more than three hours a week, the harshest restriction so far on the game industry as Chinese regulators continue cracking down on the technology sector.

Credit:

Ng Han Guan/AP

Minors in China can only play games between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, weekends and on public holidays, according to a notice that was effective starting last month. The new regulation affects some of China’s largest technology companies, including gaming giant Tencent, whose Honor of Kings online multiplayer game is hugely popular globally, as well as gaming company NetEase.

Bright Spot

If you are a fan of “Winnie the Pooh,” you might remember the bridge in the books and series (🎧). The bridge was inspired by a real wooden bridge where Pooh Bear creator A. A. Milne often played with his son, Christopher Robin. Now that bridge in southern England is up for auction on Tuesday. The real wooden bridge was dismantled and stored after being worn out by curious visitors. After a full restoration, some lucky bidder will make this iconic — honey-loving — bridge his own.

The bridge made famous in the Winnie the Pooh books — where the bear and his friends played “pooh sticks” — is up for sale by a British auction house https://t.co/5cfwTwjiTO

— CNN International (@cnni) October 2, 2021In case you missed itListen: Haitian migrants in Mexico caught in legal limbo

A Haitian migrant, holding his country’s national flag, pleads with Mexican National guardsmen not to detain migrants making their way to the US-Mexico border, in Escuintla, Chiapas state, Mexico, Sept. 2, 2021. 

Credit:

Marco Ugarte/AP

In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, tens of thousands of migrants hope to reach the United States, but are caught in legal limbo. They hail from different countries in Central and South America, but many are from Haiti. Also, when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit eastern Japan 10 years ago, with a subsequent nuclear disaster, nearly 20,000 people died. Some found healing in sashiko, a traditional art form that helped ease the pain among survivors. And, Spain’s flamenco guitar legend, the late Paco de Lucía, is receiving an homage this week in his hometown. Capping off the honors is a decree to play his famous song, “Entre Dos Aguas,” or “Between Two Waters,” from the town hall carillon twice a day.

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Six people injured in New Zealand in ISIS-inspired attack

Six people injured in New Zealand in ISIS-inspired attack

By
The World staff

Police stand outside the site of a knife attack at a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, Sept. 3, 2021.

Credit:

Brett Phibbs/AP

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New Zealand
An ISIS-inspired extremist has stabbed and injured six people in Auckland, New Zealand, three of them critically. Authorities say the Sri Lankan national was under “constant” surveillance and was shot dead by police within one minute of the stabbing spree. Law enforcement followed the man into a supermarket, where he took a knife from the shelves and started attacking people. Meanwhile in the US, Alexanda Kotey — part of the four-member ISIS cell dubbed the “Beatles” by its victims because of their British accents — pleaded guilty in a US federal courtroom. The group had kidnapped and abused more than two dozen hostages. They also beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven J. Sotloff in propaganda videos in 2014.

Japan
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has announced that he will not run for re-election as party leader later this month. He had been appointed to the role nearly a year ago after the resignation of Shinzo Abe. Suga’s approval ratings took a hit over his poor management of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Japan, which has been under a state of emergency since before the Tokyo Olympics Games in July, has more than 1.5 million reported infections of the coronavirus, and has also seen a slow vaccination rollout. Health officials say the Olympic Games, followed by the Paralympic Games, which conclude Sunday, have also contributed to the spread of the virus.

Myanmar
The UK has announced new sanctions against Myanmar, targeting the Htoo Group of Companies and its founder Tay Za, who was involved in arms deals on behalf of the military. The group is accused of providing arms and financial support to the military government after its coup earlier this year. The UK’s foreign ministry also said that Htoo contributed funds to Rohingya clearance operations in 2017.

From The WorldEU’s top migration official calls for global response to help Afghans in order to avoid migration crisis in Europe

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson arrives for a meeting of EU justice and interior ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Aug. 31, 2021. European Union ministers met Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan and migration issues.

Credit:

Virginia Mayo/AP

The UN refugee agency is warning that half a million Afghans could leave their country by the end of the year. European Comissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, Europe’s top migration official, is calling for a global response to support Afghans in Afghanistan, in order to avoid a migration crisis in Europe.

“[W]e should not wait until a lot of people already have fled the country and may be coming to the European borders,” she said. “We need to help people, Afghans in Afghanistan. We need to continue with humanitarian aid.”

Undocumented women face shrinking options for reproductive health care under Texas abortion law

In this June 16, 2021, file photo, a migrant family from Venezuela move to a Border Patrol transport vehicle after they and other migrants crossed the US-Mexico border and turned themselves in Del Rio, Texas.

Credit:

Eric Gay/AP/File

The new Texas law known as SB8 bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The law will have far-reaching impacts for many communities. For undocumented women in Texas seeking abortions, their options were already narrow. They can’t easily travel out of state because of Border Patrol checkpoints along the Texas-Mexico line.

Bright spot

The massive container ship, the Ever Given, which was stuck in the Suez canal for almost a week, disrupting global shipping, will have another chance at infamy. PC game developer Steam announced plans for a video game titled “Whatever,” where players have to navigate a container ship, like the Ever Given, through different shipping channels. Perhaps now the ship will get to say, “See, it’s not as easy as it looks!”

An amateur game developer in Bangkok hadn’t made a game in 15 years, but he was inspired last March to try to make one about the ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal.

It’s called Whatever and is out in early access next month https://t.co/l10qxVvV6R

— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) August 31, 2021In case you missed itListen: What does Taliban power mean for other militant groups in Afghanistan?

Taliban special force fighters arrive inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the US military’s withdrawal, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 31, 2021. 

Credit:

Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi/AP

For years, the Taliban was designated by many countries as an extremist or terrorist group. Now that they’re in power in Afghanistan, what does this mean for other militant groups, such as ISIS-K and al-Qaeda? Also, we hear from the EU’s top migration official, Ylva Johansson, about what EU leaders are planning in order to prevent a migration crisis similar to the one experienced by the bloc in 2015. Plus, is gossip ever good? Research studies indicate that hearing gossip about colleagues can make us more self-reflective, while being the subject of gossip can cause people to change their behavior.

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The Taliban are expected to announce a new government

The Taliban are expected to announce a new government

By
The World staff

Afghans wait in long lines for hours to try to withdraw money, in front of a bank in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 30, 2021. The Taliban have limited weekly withdrawals to $200.

Credit:

Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi/AP

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Afghanistan
Two weeks after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul, and two days after the final withdrawal of US troops from the country, the Taliban are expected to announce their new government as early as Thursday. Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzada, a Taliban top religious figure, could reportedly be named the supreme leader of Afghanistan. A global lens is on the Taliban and how they will shape a new government after a previous rule in the 1990s was renowned for its brutality. The new Taliban rulers are facing a hunger crisis in a country of 38 million people, with United Nations officials suggesting that stockpiles of food could run out this month amid an ongoing economic crisis, with much of the international aid set aside for Afghanistan now being frozen.

Mediterranean
Cyprus is on alert over an oil slick creeping across the Mediterranean that could reach the northeastern tip of the island in the next 24 hours. The oil is believed to have originated from one of Syria’s oil refineries. Satellite images now indicate the size of the slick at over 300 square miles, or about the same size as New York City. Syrian officials said that a tank filled with 15,000 tons of fuel had been leaking since August 23.

Paralympics
Malaysians watching their country’s shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli win gold on Tuesday were outraged after officials from the Paralympic Games disqualified the athlete for failing to show up on time for the competition. Zolkefli was allowed to compete under protest after showing up late, but was later stripped of his gold. The World Para Athletics, which governs track and field for Paralympic sports, said in a statement that a referee had determined after the event that “there was no justifiable reason for the athlete’s failure to report” on time. Zolkefli’s appeal was denied.

From The WorldNigerians eagerly await lift of monthslong Twitter ban

Twitter app icon on a mobile phone, April 26, 2017.

Credit:

Matt Rourke/AP/File photo

Twitter, one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, has been inaccessible in Nigeria for nearly three months. While one government official indicated last month that the suspension could be lifted soon, Nigerians are still waiting. Many at home and abroad saw the suspension as an attack on free speech and a sign of the government’s hostility to social media.

Kurds grapple with US troop drawdown in Iraq

American Village entrance gates on the outskirts of Erbil, Iraq, the Kurdish defacto capital. 

Credit:

Rebecca Collard/The World 

With the Taliban now in control of Afghanistan, Kurdish allies in northern Iraq — where the US is also planning to draw down its combat forces — are watching with concern. In July, President Joe Biden announced that the US will end its combat mission in Iraq.

The withdrawal will leave Kurds — arguably Washington’s most devoted ally — physically and politically vulnerable. Some Kurds say their lives will be endangered when US troops leave.

Global hit

Colombian musician Pao Barreto is making music in the French capital. She has been the front-woman for several bands that fall under the rubric of French-Latin music. Now Barreto is performing on her own and has released a solo album 🎧 that brings us a fuller picture of how she approaches music. She sings in Spanish and leaves lots of musical footprints back to her home country — cumbia rhythms and sounds from the Caribbean — all plugged in electronically. Listen to one of Barreto’s latest releases, “Spiralis,” in The World’s Global hits playlist. 🎶

In case you missed itListen: Kabul residents queue up in long lines for cash

Afghans wait in front of Kabul Bank, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 25, 2021.

Credit:

AP

Residents of Afghanistan’s capital have been queuing up for hours to withdraw strictly limited amounts of cash from their bank accounts. Prices for basic goods are skyrocketing. Also, since 2002, the US has backed the Philippines in fighting Islamist rebels trying to take over the tropical islands. Nearly 20 years on, and the rebels are still there, including a group called Abu Sayyaf, which sympathizes with ISIS, and can be just as vicious. And Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is in Washington today to meet with President Joe Biden. Zelenskiy’s plans to meet with then-President Donald Trump were derailed by the impeachment scandal.

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Rockets targeting Kabul airport intercepted

Rockets targeting Kabul airport intercepted

By
The World staff

Journalists take photos of a vehicle damaged by a rocket attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 30, 2021.

Credit:

Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi/AP

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Afghanistan
US anti-missile defenses intercepted rockets fired at Kabul’s airport on Monday, a day after the US conducted a retaliatory drone strike that blew up a vehicle full of explosives, according to officials. The attacks come as the countdown clock for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan nears an end. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was hurt in the rocket attack claimed by the radical ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K). Despite the violence and ongoing chaos at the airport, the US Air Force’s massive C-17 cargo jets continue evacuation operations. Still, many in Afghanistan and abroad are reeling from the ISIS-K suicide bombing at one of the airport gates that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members.

Hurricane Ida
Category 4 Hurricane Ida plowed into Louisiana on Sunday, knocking out power and leading to at least one death. The powerful hurricane made landfall on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans 16 years ago and marked a major test for the city’s rebuilt flood protection systems. More than a million customers in the New Orleans metropolitan region continue without power on Monday. Climate change scientists are pointing to the warming temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico as a significant factor in why Ida came to shore as powerful as it did.

EU
The European Union is set to recommend new restrictions on nonessential travel from the US. An official announcement has yet to be released, but as the European travel season nears an end, and with a growing number of reported coronavirus infections in the United States, diplomats from the EU on Sunday appeared ready to reverse an earlier decision to maintain the US in a safe list of countries for nonessential travel to the 27-nation bloc.

From The WorldMexico expels Central American migrants to rural Guatemala

Honduran migrants Bianca Emerita Galvan, 22, left, and Dani Omar Suazo, 21, holding their son 1-year-old sone Daniel Emir, arrive at El Ceibo, Guatemala, Aug. 12, 2021, after being deported by air from the US to Mexico and then shipped into Guatemala by land. The Central American migrants were expelled by the US after being denied a chance to seek asylum under a pandemic-related ban. 

Credit:

Santiago Billy/AP

As the Biden administration and their Mexican counterparts grapple with the Supreme Court’s order to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced tens of thousands US asylum-seekers to wait out their cases south of the border, the Mexican government is quietly sending hundreds of Central American migrants every day to rural Guatemala.

Afghan families are being rapidly resettled in the US. Adjusting to their new lives will take years.

Families evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, walk through the terminal before boarding a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport, in Chantilly, Virginia, Aug. 27, 2021.

Credit:

Jose Luis Magana/AP

One Afghan family in Sacramento recently arrived from Kabul, Afghanistan, where the Taliban came knocking on their door. The father was able to get a Special Immigrant Visa to resettle in the US. This family counts themselves as among the fortunate ones, but they worry about those they left behind.

Bright spot

To celebrate those who turn 100, the Swiss canton of Fribourg gifts each individual 100 bottles of wine, really. 🍷 The wine gift has been a tradition since 2000, but seems to have left non-wine drinkers lacking. Officials previously offered an armchair as an option, but there was a low demand. The canton is now offering a couple of new options: 1,500 Swiss francs (about $1,600) donation to a charity, or vouchers to spend at local craftsman shops. Huzzah! (The canton reports, though, that most centenarians still take the wine!)

If residents of the Swiss canton of Fribourg make it to the age of 100, the government gives them plenty of help celebrating https://t.co/jLOeyjA2Bp via @business

— Danielle Cronin (@DanielleCronin) August 30, 2021In case you missed itListen: Airlifts continue out of Kabul after deadly explosions

Families evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, walk through the terminal before boarding a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport, in Chantilly, Virginia, Aug. 27, 2021. 

Credit:

Jose Luis Magana/AP

Airlifts out of Kabul continue just one day after bombings rocked the area around the airport. More than 100 people are dead, including 13 US troops. Also, when Europe began its vaccination rollout last December, Romania was one of the fastest out of the bloc, but that quickly fizzled out. In the last few weeks, the government has turned to the Romanian Orthodox Church for help. And, across the US, we hear from refugee resettlement agencies and volunteers as they prepare to host tens of thousands of Afghans arriving in the US.

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Afghanistan airlift continues after deadly suicide attacks

Afghanistan airlift continues after deadly suicide attacks

Evacuation flights at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport have resumed after suicide attacks. Biden vows to hunt down those responsible for the bloodshed. And the Cuban government announces that it will recognize and regulate the use of cryptocurrency.

By
The World staff

Hundreds of people, some holding documents, gather near an evacuation control checkpoint on the perimeter of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 27, 2021.

Credit:

Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi/AP

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Afghanistan evacuations

Evacuation flights at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport have resumed after two suicide bombing attacks that killed more than 100 people and wounded dozens. Thirteen US troops and at least 95 Afghans died in two separate blasts that targeted crowded entrance gates to the airport. Afghan officials warned that the death toll could rise. On Friday morning, the US said that 8,500 people have been evacuated in US military planes and 4,000 others in coalition flights in the past 24 hours, keeping pace with numbers seen the previous day before the attacks.

President Biden on Afghanistan

On Thursday afternoon, US President Joe Biden addressed the nation to speak about the deadly attacks on Kabul, which were claimed by ISIS-K, an ISIS offshoot and sworn enemy of the Taliban. “We will rescue the Americans. We will get our Afghan allies out, and our mission will go on,” Biden said. The US president emphasized that the US is sticking to the Aug.31 deadline and that more attacks are possible while vowing to hunt down those responsible for the bloodshed.

Cuba cryptocurrency

The Cuban government announced that it will recognize and regulate the use of cryptocurrency and related services for payments in the communist island. The decision, published Thursday in the Official Gazette, says that Cuba’s central bank can authorize the use of cryptocurrencies “for reasons of socio-economic interest,” setting the rules for such transactions. The move comes as the popularity of cryptocurrencies grows among Cubans who are technologically savvy. The rollout of mobile internet has facilitated cryptocurrency transactions and helped many Cubans overcome financial obstacles. Traditional international payment systems and credit and debit cards are unavailable on the island.

From The WorldChina’s Xi Jinping Thought curricula teaches students how to ‘unmask enemies’ of the state, author says

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a screen as performers dance at a gala show ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, June 28, 2021.

Credit:

Ng Han Guan/AP/File photo

China plans to make “Xi Jinping Thought” part of its school curriculum, named after the country’s president. It includes a mix of socialism, Marxism and Chinese nationalism. “Xi Jinping is a micromanager who touches just about every subject,” author François Godement told The World’s host Marco Werman.  “There are already six volumes of his so-called works and speeches since he’s come to power.”

Sea ice plays a crucial role in cooling the planet. It’s melting at record-breaking rates.

Sea ice breaks apart as the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica traverses the Northwest Passage through the Victoria Strait in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, July 21, 2017.

Credit:

David Goodman/AP/File photo

According to research at the Norwegian Polar Institute, last decade’s average Arctic sea-ice levels hit their lowest in 1,000 years. And last month, sea ice reached its lowest point ever recorded in July. Sebastian Gerland, a sea ice and climate scientist at the NPI, made headlines last month when he co-authored the UN climate report, described as a “code red” for humanity. 

Bright Spot

From the heart.

An Australian farmer who was unable to attend his aunt’s funeral because of COVID-19 restrictions found a special way to honor her. He arranged dozens of his sheep into the shape of a heart. Mourners at her funeral in Brisbane were able to view an aerial image shot by a drone of the pregnant ewes eating barley in a paddock.

In case you missed itKabul airport explosion upends evacuation efforts

Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 26, 2021.

Credit:

Wali Sabawoon/AP

Explosions outside the Kabul airport on Thursday have upended the evacuation effort there and taken the lives of US soldiers and Afghans. At the time of the blasts, the airport was crowded with people trying to leave Afghanistan. Also, as the US and Mexico continue to debate the controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy, hundreds of migrants arrive every day at a rural border outpost in Guatemala. These forced removals could create a new border humanitarian crisis. Plus, China’s Ministry of Education has issued new guidelines to integrate “Xi Jinping Thought” into the curricula, in the president’s latest effort to consolidate the ruling Chinese Communist Party into almost every area of society.

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Explosion outside of the Kabul airport

Explosion outside of the Kabul airport

By
The World staff

In this image provided by the US Army, US paratroopers conduct security operations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Sgt. Jillian G. Hix/US Army via AP

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Afghanistan
The Pentagon has confirmed an explosion outside of Kabul airport, with an unconfirmed number of casualties — though some reports suggest as many as 20 people have been killed. This comes after officials from the United States, Britain and Australia urged people to stay away from the airport, citing a terrorist threat, while the massive evacuation of Afghans and foreign nationals continues. New warnings emerged on Thursday about a threat from the radical ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-Khorasan. British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey suggested the threat was “highly credible” and potentially imminent. The airport has been the scene of a chaotic evacuation effort following the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan, leaving thousands worried about a return of a brutal rule.

Japan
While still grappling with the damage caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, operators of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are planning to build an undersea tunnel to release treated radioactive water into the ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) announced plans to start building the tunnel by March 2022 after studying the feasibility. TEPCO officials have been looking for possible ways to deal with the contaminated water as the wrecked  plant runs out of storage. But environmental activists and the fishing industry in Japan have presented fierce opposition to releasing diluted nuclear material.

Malaria
A new study released by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the threat of death and illness from malaria in children could be reduced by 70%. The study, which followed 6,000 children under 17 months of age in Burkina Faso and Mali, found that by giving the kids vaccines before the worst part of the mosquito season, in addition to preventative drugs, produced “very striking” results. The results of the study offer new hope for a disease that still kills 400,000 people a year.

From The WorldAs Afghans flee Taliban rule, some find a temporary new home in Uganda

Hundreds of people gather near an evacuation control checkpoint during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 25, 2021.

Credit:

AP

After a week of anticipation — and some confusion — 51 evacuees from Afghanistan arrived in Uganda on Wednesday morning. It’s the first group of an expected 2,000 people who could be hosted by the East African country in the coming months. In the capital, Kampala, the arrival of Afghans has become the talk of the town.

Chaos in Afghanistan creates power vacuum for ISIS, al-Qaeda to reorganize, counterterrorism expert says

Afghan women walk by posters of Taliban leaders and flags in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 25. 2021.

Credit:

AP

Will Afghanistan become a safe haven for terrorist groups like ISIS? Matthew Levitt, director of counterterrorism and intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, joined The World’s host Marco Werman to discuss potential threats.

“There are reports the Taliban is trying to prevent ISIS from being able to carry out attacks. That doesn’t mean that they will be capable,” Levitt said.

Global hit

At the age of 16, in his native Cuba, Kiki Valera started to salvage radio and TV parts out of discarded electronics to build his own shortwave receiver and transmitter. That is how he managed to connect to the world of music outside of the Communist island.

“The first song that I heard out of my radio was the Chicago band’s ‘Street Player,’” Valera said. “I started, you know, to look for more of that. I discovered the Commodores with ‘The Brick House.’”

It was this music from overseas — mixed with his family musical traditions — that helped Valera developed his own musical perspective.

Enrique Kiki Valera is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, sound engineer and producer. He’s best known as one of the world’s greatest players of the Cuban cuatro, a mid-size guitar with eight strings grouped in sets of two.

Credit:

Courtesy of Kiki Valera

In case you missed itListen: Afghanistan: A safe haven for terrorist groups?

Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021.  

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/AP

As the US continues to execute its exit from Afghanistan, while trying to secure the Kabul airport — experts are warning that the threat of terrorism is rising. And on Wednesday, the first group of evacuees from Kabul arrived in Uganda, in East Africa. Uganda is one of several countries that agreed to assist the US in temporarily hosting at-risk Afghans and other nationals fleeing Afghanistan. Plus, Cuban guitarist Kiki Valera tells us about how building a shortwave radio out of spare parts opened his ears to a new world of sounds.

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G-7 agrees on conditions to recognize and work with the Taliban

G-7 agrees on conditions to recognize and work with the Taliban

By
The World staff

In this image provided by the US Air Force, US Air Force airmen guide evacuees aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2021.

Credit:

Senior Airman Taylor Crul/US Air Force via AP

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Afghanistan
G-7 leaders have agreed on conditions for recognizing and dealing with a Taliban-led Afghanistan, but they have been unable to persuade US President Joe Biden to extend the operation at Kabul’s international airport past the Aug. 31 deadline to guarantee that foreigners and Afghans at-risk can be evacuated. While defending the US decision not to extend the US troop presence, Biden warned of the threat to US and NATO forces from groups that might exploit the chaos at the airport, including by a group referred to as ISIS-K — an enemy of the Taliban — the ISIS-affiliated group that operates in Afghanistan. K stands for Khorasan Province, a historical region covering part of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The US has airlifted 28,000 people from Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover a week ago.

Naftali Bennett
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is set to meet with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Thursday. On Bennett’s agenda is a new approach to containing Iran’s nuclear program, including the strengthening of relations with Arab countries and taking diplomatic and economic actions against Iran.  Speaking to The New York Times, Bennet said he would expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank and oppose the reopening of a consulate in Jerusalem dealing with Palestinian affairs.

Algeria-Morocco
Algeria has cut diplomatic relations with Morocco, Foreign Minister Ramdane Lamamra announced on Tuesday at a press conference in Algiers, citing hostile actions by its neighbor. Lamamra accused Morocco of  “massive acts of espionage,” using the Israeli-made Pegasus spyware, against government officials and citizens, which Morrocan officials deny. The foreign minister also said Morocco had failed in honoring bilateral commitments, including those related to the Western Sahara issue. Algeria and Morocco have had strained relations for decades, with their borders closed to one another since 1994. Morocco regards Western Sahara as its own, and the United States recognized this claim in return for improved relations between Morocco and Israel.

From The WorldSoutheast Asia allies express concern over US commitment amid Afghanistan crisis

US Vice President Kamala Harris takes part in a roundtable at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore before departing for Vietnam on the second leg of her Southeast Asia trip, Aug. 24, 2021.

Credit:

Evelyn Hockstein/AP/Pool photo

The situation in Afghanistan overshadowed US Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Southeast Asia. People in the region are torn between concern over US commitment and loyalty as it exits Afghanistan, and the fact that the troop withdrawal would free up US resources to focus on other regions.

The US is building a military base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Micronesian residents have questions.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s plane makes its landing approach on Pohnpei International Airport in Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019.

Credit:

Jonathan Ernst/AP/Pool Photo 

A new US military base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is seen as another component of the Biden administration’s continued effort to increase its footprint in Oceania. But Micronesian residents are worried it could alter their social landscape, increase US military presence and increase tensions with China.

Bright spot

It’s anybody’s guess why it’s there, but over the weekend, a giant 25-foot inflatable duck with the word “joy” written on it appeared in Maine’s Belfast Harbor. Even the harbor master is unaware of its origin or purpose, but the large bird has attracted locals and visitors alike to snap photos of it bobbing up and down in the water.

A giant rubber duck appeared in a Maine Harbor — and no one knows why https://t.co/rfwwMAdSvb

— NEWS CENTER Maine (@newscentermaine) August 20, 2021In case you missed itListen: A majority of Brazilians embrace the COVID-19 vaccine

A resident gets a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on the first day of a three-day COVID-19 vaccination campaign for people over age 35 in the Complexo da Maré favela of Rio de Janeiro, July 29, 2021. 

Credit:

Bruna Prado/AP

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro has been public about his anti-vaccine position on COVID-19. Brazilians, on the other hand, have embraced it. According to a recent poll, 90% of Brazilians say they plan on getting vaccinated. Also, Afghans fleeing Taliban rule are starting to arrive in the US. Many are starting a new chapter of life in apartments, often arranged by refugee resettlement agencies. And, Vice President Kamala Harris is in midst of her Southeast Asia trip to reassure allies that the US remains committed to the region. Plus, the 2020 Paralympic Games have kicked off in Tokyo, with more than 4,000 athletes competing across 22 sports.

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G-7 holds emergency summit on Afghanistan

G-7 holds emergency summit on Afghanistan

By
The World staff

A Taliban fighter stands guard at a checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2021.

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/AP

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G-7 summit on Afghanistan
The G-7 will hold an emergency virtual summit on Afghanistan on Tuesday, a week after the Taliban took over the country. Many US allies have expressed their disappointment in the hasty manner of the US withdrawal, despite the changing dynamics on the ground. The UK, France, Germany and Japan have voiced concerns, and some of them are calling for an extension of the Aug. 31 deadline for US and NATO forces to leave the country. The Taliban, however, have warned against any such extension. Meanwhile, as thousands of people desperately try to leave the country, CIA Director William Burns held a secret meeting in Kabul with the Taliban’s top political leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar.

China
US Vice President Kamala Harris has accused China of coercion and intimidation in the South China Sea during her two-nation visit to Southeast Asia. She also assured countries in the region that they wouldn’t have to choose sides between the world’s two largest economies, calling for human rights, freedom of the seas and unimpeded commerce. The Biden administration has made countering China’s influence globally a centerpiece of its foreign policy. During the Singapore leg of her trip, she also stressed the need to ease supply-chain constraints, following a surge of COVID-19 cases across factories in the region. Harris will conclude her trip in Vietnam.

Paralympics
The Paralympics have started in Tokyo — without spectators — at the National Stadium. The opening ceremony featured national flags of the 162 delegations, including the Afghan flag, which was carried by a volunteer in the absence of the national team. Taekwondoka Zakia Khudadadi was set to become the first woman from Afghanistan to compete in the Paralympic Games, but was unable to leave the country after last week’s Taliban takeover. Meanwhile, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Japan, the government has announced plans to expand the state of emergency to eight more prefectures.

From The WorldHow the Kabul airport went from calm to chaos

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Reyaz Arian was the top commander in charge of security at the Hamid Karzai International Airport until the Taliban takeover of Kabul.

Credit:

Zahra Khodadadi/The World

Two weeks before the Afghan capital, Kabul, fell to the Taliban, The World interviewed the top man in charge of security at the airport, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Reyaz Arian. He was confident that the crucial entry-and-exit point to Afghanistan would be protected after US troops left.

When asked if he was worried about airport security after the full US troop withdrawal by the Aug. 31 deadline, he responded calmly, “I don’t have any big concerns. Everything is under control.” But within a matter of days, his confidence went by the wayside.

The Taliban have acquired an ‘overwhelming amount of potential weaponry,’ global security expert says

In this Aug. 22, 2021, image provided by the US Air Force and made through a night vision scope, a US Air Force security forces raven, assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, maintains a cordon around a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of Operation Allies Refuge at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

Credit:

Senior Airman Brennen Lege/US Air Force via AP

As the Taliban advanced on Kabul last weekend, the Afghan military retreated, leaving behind weapons — much of them being provided by the US. Jodi Vittori, a former US Air Force officer who served in Afghanistan, told The World’s host Carol Hills that while a number of American aircraft flew to Uzbekistan, along with the pilots and their associated aircrews, the Taliban were able to capture some planes.

“We know that because they’ve shown pictures of them,” Vittori said. “Some of those aircraft were not operational at the time, however. And we do have reports that the Taliban are looking for aircraft pilots and aircraft maintainers that might be able to get [them] back into the air.”

Bright spot

🎙️ Josephine Baker was a US-born singer, dancer and performer who made her home in France, becoming one of the country’s all-time greatest music hall stars. Now, she will be given one of France’s greatest honors. Her remains will be moved to the Panthéon mausoleum in Paris — joining other French icons, such as Victor Hugo, Marie Curie and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. President Emmanuel Macron made the decision after a petition received nearly 40,000 signatures in France. 🎧

In case you missed itListen: Many Afghans who helped Canadian military are stranded

US Airmen and US Marines guide evacuees aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in this Aug. 21, 2021, image provided by the US Air Force. 

Credit:

Senior Airman Brennen Lege/USAir Force via AP

For months, advocacy groups have urged the Canadian government to evacuate Afghan staff and interpreters for the Canadian military. Now, Canada lacks the personnel in Afghanistan to help these former employees leave. Also, the Taliban may now possess US-made planes, helicopters, howitzers and small arms left behind by the retreating Afghan forces. How much of the Afghan arsenal will the Taliban use — and what would they need to maintain it? And US-born Josephine Baker became one of France’s all-time greatest music-hall stars. Baker becomes the first Black woman interred in Paris’ Panthéon mausoleum, joining other French legendary icons.

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Thousands desperate to be evacuated from Afghanistan

Thousands desperate to be evacuated from Afghanistan

By
The World staff

Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 19, 2021.

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/AP

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Afghanistan
While the pace has quickened as troops and diplomatic reinforcements have been rushed to Kabul, tens of thousands of people remain stuck in Afghanistan, desperate to be evacuated following the Taliban’s takeover. The sluggish, chaotic process at the airport in the capital comes as reports of targeted killings by the Taliban mounted Friday, fueling fears the militant group will return Afghanistan to a repressive rule. In the US, President Joe Biden will speak on Friday as he faces mounting criticism over the troubled evacuation of Americans and Afghans who risked their lives by working for the US during the two decades of war.

Singapore-Vietnam
With the Biden administration struggling under a mountain of criticism over the crisis in Afghanistan, Vice President Kamala Harris’ once low-risk trip to Asia has taken on new importance as she will attempt to reassure allies of American credibility. Harris is scheduled to leave for Singapore on Friday and will also make a stop in Vietnam. Officials are using the trip to help convince allies of US resolve and competence as the region grapples with the rise of a more assertive China.

Australia
Health officials in Australia are warning that major cities like Sydney and Melbourne may be losing control of a COVID-19 outbreak fueled by the more contagious delta variant. A lockdown in Sydney has now been extended through September as the country works to step up its vaccination campaign after a sluggish rollout. Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia announced plans to loosen up COVID-19 restrictions for those fully vaccinated Friday despite facing a growing daily infection rate. And officials in Thailand say the country has now passed 1 million recorded COVID-19 infections.

From The WorldUS biometric devices are in the hands of the Taliban. They could be used to target Afghans who helped coalition forces.

A US soldier with Apache Company of Task Force 3-66 Armor, out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, stands guard at a police checkpoint at Gulruddin pass in Sar Hawza district of Paktika province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 1, 2011.

Credit:

Heidi Vogt/AP

Days after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, many Afghans who worked for the US are now concerned that their paper documents — attesting to how they helped — could essentially be death sentences if the Taliban were to find them.

But the fear doesn’t stop with paper documents. There are also US military biometric devices, which are high-tech tools that contain sensitive data, like iris scans and fingerprints, tools to distinguish friend from possible enemy, that are in the hands of the Taliban.

A massive security flaw exposed in Germany — then a criminal investigation

Armin Laschet, chairman of the German Christian Democratic Union, CDU, addresses the media during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Berlin, May 17, 2021. 

Credit:

Michael Sohn/AP/Pool 

A tech scandal is unfolding in Berlin, involving Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union party and a young IT security researcher named Lilth Wittmann, who uncovered a major vulnerability in a campaign app.

Bright spot

Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk wanted to help an 8-month-old baby who was in need of an expensive life-saving surgery. In a heartwarming act of generosity, Andrejczyk decided to auction off her Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medal. Żabka, a Polish supermarket chain, stepped in and won the auction with a bid of $125,000 — enough money to put the fundraising effort over the top for the surgery to proceed. Not only that, Żabka then decided to let Andrejczyk keep her medal, saying in a statement that the company was “moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture.”

Not only does @MariaAndrejczyk have great strength, but also a great ❤️!

🇵🇱 Olympic vice-champion in javelin throw at #Tokyo2020 put her 🥈 medal up for auction to fund eight-month-old Miłosz’s surgery.

Now let’s keep our fingers crossed for Miłosz! 🤞https://t.co/klGlfVP1f3

— Poland.pl (@Poland) August 18, 2021In case you missed itListen: Journalists walk a fine line under Taliban rule

A female TV presenter from southern Afghanistan hides her identity for security concerns as she gives an interview to The Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 3, 2021. 

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/AP

Taliban spokesmen have said they’ll be more accommodating toward journalists than in previous years, but Ayesha Tanzeem, the Afghanistan Pakistan bureau chief for Voice of America, is wary. And, Khalida Popal says she founded the Afghan women’s football team in 2007 as an act of defiance against the Taliban. Now in exile, she is fielding calls from her former teammates who fear for their lives. Also, Olympic athletes may have left the Games, but the athletes’ village in Tokyo is back in use, currently filling up with 4,000 Paralympian athletes, ready to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

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A race to evacuate as Taliban asserts authority over Afghanistan

A race to evacuate as Taliban asserts authority over Afghanistan

By
The World staff

US soldiers stand guard along a perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021.

Credit:

Shekib Rahmani/AP

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Afghanistan
Two days after sweeping into power, the Taliban has declared general amnesty for Afghan government workers, calling on them to return to work and urging women to join. The announcement comes after mass panic in the wake of the fall of Kabul, as thousands of people rushed to flee the country. At least seven people died, including some who clung to the sides of a jet as it took off during evacuations. Top Taliban official Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is en route to  Afghanistan from Qatar — a country that’s been hosting talks between officials from the Taliban and the Afghan government for about a decade. Qatar’s foreign minister urged him to cease fire and pull back the offensive.

The Taliban takeover comes as US and NATO forces were in the process of completing their full withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of August, after two decades of war. US President Joe Biden defended the pullout in a statement on Monday, saying, “I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces.” He then shifted blame to the Afghan government, adding, “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.” A recent survey conducted by Morning Consult and Politico shows support among Americans for the withdrawal has dropped by 20% over the last several days. And while support remains for the US pullout of Afghanistan, Biden is now facing growing backlash.

Haiti
Tropical Storm Grace has drenched Haiti with rain, just two days after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake killed at least 1,419 people in the south and injured 6,000 others. The storm brings with it the risk of flash floods and landslides. Haiti’s civil protection agency said the heavy rainfall in the southern region has exacerbated the situation for displaced people and called on other residents to give them shelter. Rescue workers and medical teams have been scrambling to get aid to those affected. A similar devastating earthquake struck the Caribbean nation in 2010,  killing an estimated 200,000 people and decimating the capital Port-au-Prince.

From The WorldThis Afghan man who helped US Army Special Forces pleads for help to escape the Taliban: ‘They will kill us’

Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021. Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital’s airport on Monday, rushing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/AP

One of the people desperate to get out of Afghanistan is a man named Moh — we’re not using his full name because his life is at risk. He worked for six years with US Army Special Forces, removing land mines. Ever since then, he says the Taliban has hounded him with death threats. Moh told The World’s Marco Werman that he doesn’t have a visa or ticket and is not sure how to travel and escape the Taliban.

“If I go to the airport, there are lots of Taliban. If I take my documents that I worked with US Army, if I go outside, there’s the Taliban, and the checkpoints of the Taliban. They will check my cellphones and also they’ll check all my documents. How can go to the airport?”

Discussion: Climate change and a deepening global health crisis

Flames burn on the mountain near Limni village on the island of Evia, about 100 miles north of Athens, Greece, Aug. 3, 2021.

Credit:

Michael Pappas/AP

Climate change is driving extreme weather events across the globe and exacerbating health conditions and disparities. The World’s Environment Editor and Correspondent Carolyn Beeler will take your questions and moderate a discussion with Harvard T.H. Chan School’s Renee Salas, who will explore the deepening crisis at the intersection of climate change and health.

>> Stream the conversation live here on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 at 12 p.m. Eastern.

Global hit

With the news weighing heavy on the minds of many around the world, here’s something to lift spirits. Legendary Jamaican musician, Jimmy Cliff, who turned 77 at the end of July, has just released a new single titled “Human Touch.” Take a second and breathe in that Jamaican air.

The return of #JimmyCliff: ‘Rebel spirit is still in the Jamaican people’ https://t.co/VbewX0yw7J #reggae #Jamaica

— Culture Doctor of Kingston (@SonjahStanley) August 7, 2021In case you missed itListen: Afghanistan is now under Taliban control

Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021. Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital’s airport on Monday, rushing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.

Credit:

Rahmat Gul/AP

Afghanistan is now under control of the Taliban. Host Marco Werman talks to a US government interpreter who says the Taliban has hounded him with death threats. Plus, the latest on the airlift at the Kabul airport, and what the first days of life under Taliban rule have been like for women. Also, Zambia is setting a good example for peaceful transitions of power, with President Edgar Lungu accepting the election results that he lost last week’s election there. And, we have a story about dogs being trained as lifeguards — and they’re saving lives on Italian beaches.

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